Dana White and Joe Rogan discussed at length the UFC 193 main event between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm during Rogan’s latest podcast, recorded on their way back from Australia. White talked about how rare it is for fighters to stay on top, why the loss isn’t a death knell to Rousey’s legacy, why Holm fought the perfect fight, and why he expects Rousey to come back strong.
Here are some of White’s comments from the podcast (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com):
In this sport, and we say this all the time that there’s so many different ways to win and lose – it’s so hard to be perfect in this sport. To go undefeated and go on these long runs for 10 years like Jose Aldo or as long as Anderson Silva did or as long as Ronda Rousey did, it is hard to be perfect every time you go in there. I don’t care how good of an athlete, how long you’ve been competing, not everybody jumps out of bed every day and feels perfect and feels good. … It’s just not possible for that to happen all the time.
That’s why when people go on these undefeated runs in this sport, they are f***ing great. They are truly great. Then you take all the things about physically not being perfect, then add the pressure and the workload that gets put on you when you become a UFC champion. Ronda Rousey did it better than anybody’s ever done it. The amount of work and the time she put in, how hard she trained, the things that she would do. She didn’t become a huge superstar the way she did for no reason. She worked at it. And you see Conor [McGregor] work at it. These guys that can go on these long runs are very unique individuals.
Holly Holm fought the perfect fight [Saturday] night. As you sit and just think about it and run it through your head, she fought the perfect fight. Ronda was a f***ing tornado, ripping through everyone in seconds, so you don’t get to see her full game or what she’s got, and [Saturday] was just craziness. It’s tough to sit back and look and game plan. And the other thing is, what are you going to do with Holly? Now you can look back and say, [Rousey] probably should have tried to grapple her, tried to double-leg her, get her in the clinch, take her down, do this, that and everything else.
But that’s not Ronda. Ronda is, ‘I’m going to go out and f***ing bang with you. I’m going to try to throw you. If I get the opportunity I’ll throw you.’ She just never got any opportunities. She got into a couple exchanges. She rocked Holly a couple times. She did. From what I remember seeing in the fight, I remember seeing Holly look like she got hurt a couple times in the fight by Ronda. [Holm] was on the outside and picking her apart with big shots – hit her with a big elbow one time, hitting her with hooks.
…She’s the mentally strongest f***ing athlete I’ve ever met in my life. When she gets over this loss, she’s going to be a savage. She was a maniac and a hard-worker when she was the best in the world. What’s she going to be like now that she lost? The thing that makes this fight great again is Holly Holm. Now everybody knows how talented Holly Holm is and that Holly Holm is legit and Holly Holm is a workhorse, too. Both these two are going to take the next few months, go back in, start working on s***, and they’re going to clash again. And this second fight will be f***ing awesome.
Penick’s Analysis: At least he gives some credit to Holm here. I don’t think the UFC gave any real consideration to the idea that Rousey could lose this fight; not that many did, but the initial response in the wake of the event was telling. Even here, White’s mindset is obviously the Holm fought a perfect fight, but Rousey will come back even stronger. That absolutely remains to be seen. This wasn’t a fluky one-shot loss, this was Holm out-classing Rousey at every turn, and not giving her any openings. I’m not convinced we see something massively different in the rematch. It’s hard to know how she’s going to respond from here, and it may really take some changes she’s not willing to make in order to have anything resembling a different outcome. White sticking by Rousey isn’t the least bit surprising, but I don’t know that his take is how this is going to play out.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]