By Stephanie Convery Updated November 13, Ronda Rousey is living, breathing, fighting evidence against the still-prevailing idea of women's inherent physical inferiority. But she's also quick to distinguish herself from "other" women, writes Stephanie Convery.
Ronda Rousey has never been more important than she is right now, after losing her first UFC fight in Melbourne, Australia, last weekend.
Good golly, the fights. Watching her in the octagon has, for me, always been window onto another world—one in which a singular champion possesses such skill and focus that no one else could even begin to match her. Indeed, on fight nights Rousey seems to become a different person altogether.
Gone is the charming and glamorous young woman we see in late-night television interviews. In her place stands a scowling, apex predator.
Though her bouts have been brief, they have consistently been master classes in technical skill and brute force. That changed when she stepped into the octagon with Holly Holm in Melbourne. And maybe even fear.
I was instantly connected to her, not only as an athlete, but for the first time as a human. By the end of that brutal first round I knew that this would be the end of the fairy tale. The rest was a blur of devastating punches, splattered blood and, eventually, the kick that would end it all.
But not in the way you might think.
Now she has the chance to be a whole new kind of hero. No longer an unstoppable, alien force in a class of her own, Rousey can become something far more important: a truly human champion with whom we all can identify.
One with vulnerabilities like ours, who will have to work to overcome a public setback on her way back to dominance. Her most important victory is still to come.
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