Three days after Ronda Rousey’s second round knockout at the hands of Holy Holm, some MMA fans are still trying to come to terms with her defeat. And one, former WWE wrestler and commentator has cooked up a conspiracy theory to explain it.
At the center of the argument floated by former WWE star Taz on his CBS Radio show is the break from fighting Rousey announced just a few days before facing down Holm at UFC 193. With movies to film and lots of money to spend, Rousey toldRolling Stone she was hoping to stay away from fighting until UFC 200. That’s why Taz thinks the Rousey-Holm match was fixed:
Why are some people not seeing this? This has been done in the wrestling industry for years. A guy or girl is going to take a break or go away, or has an injury that they have to tend to, whatever the reasons are, and they're a champion—you take the championship off of them. You do not want your champion sitting home or making a movie, 'Roadhouse 2' or whatever Rousey's going to do, or just needs a personal break, which she's earned. This girl's earned it. But you don't want that person sitting home for five, six, seven months with that championship. It's bad for business! Take the belt off her!
Taz, with his knowledge of the inner workings of professional fighting, certainly has a point. It’s certainly in UFC boss Dana White’s interest to have a champion who’s not taking a sabbatical. It’s also in White’s interest to build up Rousey’s inevitable comeback as the opportunity to take back the belt from Holm in 2016.
Still, calling the fight fixed is a pretty serious allegation. It challenges UFC's creditability and Rousey's integrity. It also totally ignores the reality of the fight: Rousey got absolutely dismantled by Holm with little more than a kick to the face. If the UFC wanted to fix the fight, wouldn’t it have made sense to do it so that Rousey wasn't embarrassed? Or maybe so she didn’t have to take a thunder kick to the head? Or schedule plastic surgery to repair damage to her lip after Holm's kick to the dome? If you’re going to fix a fight, there are ways to do it that don’t threaten your top draw with severe injury.
Taz’s theory might be fun to consider, but it’s pretty much impossible to believe.
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