rousey-v-holm-featuredFirst of all, let me get this out of the way:

Above all else, kudos to Holly Holm. She laughed in the face of pressure. Smiled when virtually no one gave her a chance. Kept humble in front of the largest hype train in MMA history. And sent us home with our foot twisted at crazy angles, and inserted up to the heel in our mouths.

In front of a record crowd in Melbourne, Holm landed a kick that is still echoing through the world and KO’d Ronda Rousey to become the second UFC Bantamweight Champion. And it didn’t matter how many replays of Holm head kick KO’s were shown, I didn’t think it was possible. Because like everyone else, when you have a character as crazy as Rousey, you almost play dumb and forget that this is the same sport where Matt Serra knocked out Georges St-Pierre.

It was the perfect storm, man. There’s no other way to put it. There was no way you could soundly say that Holm was going to be the one to do it. I watched her previous fight, against an unranked Marion Reneau go to a Decision. I thought she looked good. I was also convinced that Rousey would annihilate her within a round on her best night. Holm had done nothing to make any of us think that she was a worthy contender. At best, we thought she would be an entertaining match up in a year or two.

But when the announcement was made that she would get the next crack at Rowdy, we scoffed. We bitched, moaned, and complained. I felt she was being fed to the monster. Little did we know that Holly Holm was the Jedi being dropped into the Rancor pit.

As we were watching UFC 193 on Saturday, a friend who walked in late said he was rooting for Holly Holm. He didn’t say he thought she would win. But he was the only one who said he was rooting for her. I asked him if he wanted to bet. He bet me to drink a cup of piss… then thought about it, and said if he lost. We laughed it off. But this is the type of situation it was. He was the first to say it openly, but the hype was getting to be too much. My girlfriend thought Rousey was being arrogant in her pre-fight interviews. Arrogance is a big word, because it’s still confidence until you fail. And how can you not be confident when you have a 100% success rate?

That’s the thing about overconfidence though; when you fail, you don’t fall, you crash and burn. And in the world of combat sports those who hyped you up will then tear you down in a fraction of the time. Rousey is in for a tough time, until the public eye goes onto the next thing. But the treatment she’s getting is testament to the impact she’s had on the world. This is some Pacquiao/Marquez level trolling. And it’s going to be curious to see how she handles it.

Think about it; this is exactly how the world would’ve treated Mike Tyson had the internet had been a thing in 1990. For the moment, Holly Holm is Buster Douglas. The biggest upset in the history of MMA, and definitely up there as one of the biggest upsets in sports. Holly Holm shocked the world, and brought us back to the reality that in a fight anything can happen. And that’s why I watch.

The important thing is that the praise for Holly overshadows all this bandwagon hate for Ronda. She was the big winner on Saturday night.