Chael Sonnen never believed the hype when it came to Ronda Rousey.
When Rousey dominated the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division, she was also a household name in the mainstream media. And because of her dominance, many regarded her as the best fighter in the world. Some even claimed she could beat male bantamweights in a fight as well as Floyd Mayweather.
Of course, opinions changed when Rousey was knocked out by Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes before deciding to leave the sport. Many felt her opponents were lower-level compared to today’s fighters. Others believe she simply wasn’t tested in her striking enough.
For Sonnen, he believes “Rowdy” was simply at the right place at the right time:
“I do admit I never thought that Ronda was the best fighter in the world,” Sonnen said on Ariel and The Bad Guy (via MMA News). “The division was just forming and she was in the right place at the right time. And that sounds insulting but that’s the way I see it.”
However, Sonnen does give credit to Rousey for leaving the sport in what he feels will age better with time:
“Ariel, I think she actually deserves a compliment,” Sonnen went on to say. “When she took her ball and went home as you put it, I think that actually left a message. I think that decision looked kinda like a fine wine and got better in time in this way, when you’ve had enough in this sport get out of it. Whether that means opening up your spot on the roster or in her case, her spot in title fights and main events and giving that chance to somebody else, or just for her own sanity and physicality.
“If it’s not what you wanna do anymore, get out of the way. Don’t go one foot in and one foot out. I think Ronda’s decision, while judged and criticized at the time, I think it looks better with age. And I think that she made the right decision and helped to set a good example.”
Do you agree with Sonnen?
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