UFC women's bantamweight champion and Yahoo! Sports 2013 MMA Fighter of the Year Ronda Rousey would appear to have had fighting skills and outspokenness passed down to her from her Judo world champion mother Anna Maria De Mars. The submission specialist and PhD. De Mars keeps an insightful and often entertaining blog and often writes about topics relating to her MMA champion daughter.
Recently, De Mars wrote her take on Rousey's recent successful title defense at UFC 168 against Miesha Tate. Rousey won yet again by arm bar submission but was forced out of the first round for the first time in her MMA career.
"My husband asked me what I thought about Ronda's fight and I'll tell you the same thing that I told him," De Mars wrote on her blog.
"It was clear to me that she took 0 chances in the fight. In her earlier fights, she had taken more risks and even though that resulted in her winning her fights very quickly, it also meant that a couple of times she got in positions that were a disadvantage and that she had to fight out her way out of.
"In this fight, she only went for the arm bar when she could could do it without taking any chances of giving her opponent an advantage."
Far be it from us to disagree with a combat expert like De Mars but we found that take interesting. While Rousey was certainly not reckless in her rematch against Tate, it seemed to us that she stubbornly pursued the arm bar, even when it meant giving up top position and even when it appeared that she could finish the fight sooner by maintaining the mount and using punches and elbows to force the TKO stoppage.
What we mean is, it appeared that at times Rousey was taking a risk going for her signature arm bar instead of taking the ground strikes opportunities that seemed to be available for her. As De Mars went on to write, however, you can't be too critical of someone after they've gotten their arm raised, one way or the other.
As for all the hoopla surrounding Rousey's decision to turn down an offer to shake hands with Tate, post-fight, De Mars provides some perspective. First off, with all the actual bad behavior from professional athletes, not shaking an opponent's hand moments after being locked in battle with them shouldn't even register on anyone's offense-meter, she seems to say.
"Ronda is 26 years old and in a very public arena. If you think of all of the things you see from entertainers and professional athletes - DUI, steroid use, wild parties, drug rehab, multiple extramarital affairs and on and on. Or just think of the average 26-year-old. If you're a parent and the WORST thing anyone can say about your 26-year-old child is that he or she says "Fuck" and didn't shake someone's hand, you ought to go to mass, light candles, get down on your knees and say a prayer of thanks," De Mars wrote.
Furthermore, Ronda was specifically justified in not wanting to shake Tate's hand after all the negative things her opponent had said about her and after Tate's trainer, boyfriend and male bantamweight Bryan Caraway had threatened physical harm to Rousey.
"If you lie about someone behind their back, disrespect them and their friends, I completely understand if that person doesn't want to shake hands with you. Pretending that 'It's all good now' might make the liar feel better but I don't see why you should do it. If that's what you think you should do, then I won't tell you how to run your life, but I personally have seen a lot of organizations that are completely ineffective because everyone tries to get along, and people who are dishonest or incompetent stick around because no one wants to get in their face and tell them to get the hell out."
As you can see, Anna Maria De Mars doesn't hold her tongue anymore than her daughter does. For that, and for the insight on competition she regularly provides on her blog, we're grateful.