An online sports book set odds at 25-1 that Ronda Rousey would fight a man in a UFC sanctioned event by Dec. 31, 2016. Bovada could have set the number at 100 million to 1, because it's never going to happen.
It's beyond ridiculous and is highly disrespectful to Rousey, the wonderfully talented UFC women's bantamweight champion. What Rousey is doing is remarkable, and should be celebrated. She's 11-0 with 11 finishes and has won her last two fights in a combined 30 seconds.
It's one of the most dominant runs in sports history by any athlete in any sport, male or female.
Three times in UFC history have there been championship fights between two unbeaten fighters. Rousey was involved in two of the three, and won those fights in a combined one minute, 20 seconds. She defeated Sara McMann, who was 7-0 entering their bout at UFC 170, in just 1:06. And then last week, she needed only 14 seconds to submit Cat Zingano in the main event of UFC 184.
Beating a fighter like Zingano in 14 seconds is kind of like Tiger Woods winning the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 shots. Or Secretariat winning the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths. Or the Chicago Bears defeating the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the 1940 NFL Championship game.
This is an incredibly amazing run she's on, one rarely seen in sports. It's a disgrace that instead of celebrating Rousey's historic accomplishments, we're debating whether or not she could defeat men.
UFC analyst Joe Rogan unintentionally got the controversy rolling when he said during an appearance on The Dan LeBatard Show on Feb. 26 that Rousey could beat 50 percent of the male bantamweights in the UFC.
He said it as a means to try to express Rousey's greatness, because it's easy to run out of superlatives to describe what she's doing. He wasn't suggesting she would, or should, fight a man.
At one point before her fight with Zingano, UFC president Dana White joked he might have to make Rousey fight men if she beat Zingano easily. Again, White wasn't suggesting that was his plan. He was simply pointing out how dominant she'd been.
But that didn't stop UFC flyweight contender Ian McCall from speaking out about it. McCall took Rogan's comments completely seriously and said that Rousey wouldn't defeat a good male mixed martial arts fighter. He went on to say he'd throw Rousey, a bronze medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
A good man will not lose to Ronda Rousey. I could put a judo gi on, [she's] an Olympian. You're not throwing me. It's not going to happen. I will throw you on your head. Pretty simple. And you weigh more than me. I can't compartmentalize it. It doesn't make sense to me. I know it's all talk. They compare her to [former heavyweight boxer Mike] Tyson. She's dangerous, she's good. I get it, but it's just silly.
McCall completely missed the point and made himself look incredibly small in the process. Rousey is enormously popular and is growing the fan base. People like to witness greatness and what Rousey is doing is not only great for herself, but for all of her peers, male and female.
McCall's words are incredibly demeaning to one of the greatest female athletes in the world. And, of course, he missed the bigger picture because she's only going to grow the sport and make fighters like him more money.
Rousey's mother, the 1984 world judo champion AnnMaria De Mars, was right on the money on Saturday following her daughter's win over Zingano when she blasted the notion of her daughter facing a man.
"That's a stupid idea," De Mars said. "Seriously, that's a stupid idea. I'm as much a feminist as anyone but the fact is that biologically, there's a difference between men and women. Hello. Duh. A woman who is 135 pounds and a man who is 135 pounds are not physically equal."
It's sad she even had to say that because in some ways, it takes attention away from what Rousey has done in the Octagon and focuses attention on something that is utterly ridiculous.
This needs to stop, and now.
Ronda Rousey is one of the most incredible athletes in the world, as well as the most popular in the UFC.
All the talk of her fighting men does is detract from her extraordinary accomplishments in the cage.