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UFC is a Solid Heel Territory Right Now

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The UFC wasn’t always a heel promotion, but it certainly is now. Their central stars are Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, and Ronda Rousey. McGregor is probably not nearly the ass hole he plays on TV, but dropping lines about how many people died to make his watch and taking the belt from his champion opponent… that is top level heel stuff. Jon Jones does drugs, more or less gets caught cheating on his wife regularly, and drives his car into stuff all the time, never seeming to be too remorseful. He is so generally unlikable it drives me nuts. Ronda also rubs people the wrong way. She seems likeable sometimes, but her competitiveness turns her into raging bitch. The chip on her shoulder is well past endearing or charming. Casual and hardcore fans seem to be mixed on her since she is so fun to watch, but the general joy over her getting handled last night make it clear she is really a heel.

 

Vince wishes he had heels that got the kinda heat these three do.

 

The heels are the center of attention in the UFC. We have come along way since the Face-centric days of Forrest, Chuck, GSP, Silva, Randy and so on.

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Speaking of McGregor, I still can't believe UFC used his horrifying line about how if this was a different time, he would invade the favelas, enslave Brazilians and kill the ones unfit to work, for a commercial. Really fucked up. If this was a WWE angle/promo, Meltzer and Alvarez would rip it to shreds, and WWE too for using it as part of the promotion, but McGregor is the best promo guy ever, or whatever, according to Meltzer a few months ago. Really hoping Jose Aldo destroys him badly, and continues to thumb his nose at UFC, Reebok, and McGregor.

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The reaction to Rhonda in the last 24 hours is more fueled by how she lost rather than how she acts. She was a dominate, undefeated champion who didn't just lose to a huge underdog, she was completely outclassed and embarrassed. It would be totally different if Rousey had lost a close 5 round fight. The fact that this messiah level character was made to look like an ignoramus with such a basic, simple to execute strategy by a fighter who hadn't come close to looking impressive makes it natural for people to start hating on her because she instantly looks like a fraud.

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Being there live it was so amazing to see a crowd that size completely turn around on the fighters in the space of one round. You could literally hear the moment that Holm became the babyface.

 

An incredibly executed double turn.

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The reaction to Rhonda in the last 24 hours is more fueled by how she lost rather than how she acts. She was a dominate, undefeated champion who didn't just lose to a huge underdog, she was completely outclassed and embarrassed. It would be totally different if Rousey had lost a close 5 round fight. The fact that this messiah level character was made to look like an ignoramus with such a basic, simple to execute strategy by a fighter who hadn't come close to looking impressive makes it natural for people to start hating on her because she instantly looks like a fraud.

MMA is probably the only sport where you can be dominant to the point where you look absolutely unbeatable, while having such a huge gaping hole in their game. She had no idea how to use basic footwork to close the distance on a fighter who moved away from her. Everyone she's ever fought tried to match her aggressiveness and got steamrolled. Holm's gameplan of moving as far away from her as possible, and let Ronda chase her was brilliant. Ronda doesn't move her head, keeps her chin up, and had no idea how to move in a direction other than straight forward. Back to the heel subject, her corner was basically the heel manager who is just hanging on to the coattails of their meal ticket. When they went back to her corner and all they had to say was, "You're doing great champ, all she has is that left hand," I knew it was over. She clearly had no answers for what Holm was doing in the first round, and her corner didn't help her at all. They've already said there was going to be a rematch, but I don't know if her current team of yes men will have anything to offer her in terms of strategy. She's the last woman you'd ever want to do to fight in a phone booth, but she looked useless at distance. Her team is going to actually have to do some work, and I don't know if that is something they actually signed up for.

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The reaction to Rhonda in the last 24 hours is more fueled by how she lost rather than how she acts. She was a dominate, undefeated champion who didn't just lose to a huge underdog, she was completely outclassed and embarrassed. It would be totally different if Rousey had lost a close 5 round fight. The fact that this messiah level character was made to look like an ignoramus with such a basic, simple to execute strategy by a fighter who hadn't come close to looking impressive makes it natural for people to start hating on her because she instantly looks like a fraud.

I don't know. I thinkt he world wanted to hate Ronda. MMA fans do love performance above all else, but Ronda's attitude makes her hatable. The way it happened was certainly a catalyst, but I really think fans (both casual and hardcore) were ready to hate Ronday and ready to have some grounds to bash her.

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The promos were pretty over the top. We must have seen a hundred of them while looking for things On Demand. "RONDA ROUSEY IS A ONCE IN A LIFE TIME ATHLETE. YOU WILL NEVER AGAIN BE ABLE TO WITNESS THIS." etc.

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What is it about Ronda's attitude that people don't like? I only ask because I don't follow this stuff too closely. All that I really know about her is an article I saw where she claimed she is supporting Bernie Sanders for President.

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It is a good question because some of it is kind of intangible to me. She just has a chip on her shoulder and really seems driven by hate in a way that is kind of over the top. She acts like and even says that no one has it harder than her, that no one deserves to beat her, that she truly believes she is a special human being. She just has this ethos of thinking she is above everything else and there is very little sense (for me at least) that she has much humility or that she empathizes with others. She always favors all of this above sportsmanship. It is like she must hate someone to fight them and that often comes off in obnoxious ways (like her little scuffle with Holms at the weigh in and her refusal to touch gloves with a fighter who was more or less a pro the whole time.

 

To be clear, I don’t necessarily FAULT her for any of it. You gotta do what you gotta do to make yourself ready for a fight and she is under pressures I can’t imagine. Plus, all of that is textbook heel stuff. That is how you sell fights and get butts in seats. Rousey will, for the foreseeable future be an appealing athlete. I don’t like her in a strictly fan way. I just like rooting against her and it is somewhat arbitrary. I think that is the case for most people. If they don’t like her it is in the way they don’t like the Patriots or something. It is fun to root against them because they are easy to hate and harder to identify with.

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What is it about Ronda's attitude that people don't like? I only ask because I don't follow this stuff too closely. All that I really know about her is an article I saw where she claimed she is supporting Bernie Sanders for President.

If her attitude is so awful and she is hateable then why is there so many people talking to me about watching her fights because she is so awesome when they would NEVER watch UFC before or UFC without her on the show?

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It is a good question because some of it is kind of intangible to me. She just has a chip on her shoulder and really seems driven by hate in a way that is kind of over the top. She acts like and even says that no one has it harder than her, that no one deserves to beat her, that she truly believes she is a special human being. She just has this ethos of thinking she is above everything else and there is very little sense (for me at least) that she has much humility or that she empathizes with others. She always favors all of this above sportsmanship. It is like she must hate someone to fight them and that often comes off in obnoxious ways (like her little scuffle with Holms at the weigh in and her refusal to touch gloves with a fighter who was more or less a pro the whole time.

 

To be clear, I don’t necessarily FAULT her for any of it. You gotta do what you gotta do to make yourself ready for a fight and she is under pressures I can’t imagine. Plus, all of that is textbook heel stuff. That is how you sell fights and get butts in seats. Rousey will, for the foreseeable future be an appealing athlete. I don’t like her in a strictly fan way. I just like rooting against her and it is somewhat arbitrary. I think that is the case for most people. If they don’t like her it is in the way they don’t like the Patriots or something. It is fun to root against them because they are easy to hate and harder to identify with.

I hear what you're saying, but I think you are in the minority here. Ronda Rousey is someone who people would generally hate, but somehow is very well liked. She is in the same lane as Steve Austin or Ric Flair. Their personalities are essentially heel, but everyone kind of loves them despite it all. I think a big part of her appeal is that she is a very attractive woman who puts on a dress and goes to award shows, but is all business and a stone cold killer when she gets in the cage. Her scowl and attitude in the ring contrasted with the smile and evening gowns outside is something we've never really seen before.

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Because she is a classic style heel. People love to watch her because she has talent and in reality they are paying to see her perform, but deep down inside a lot of people were watching for the chance to see her lose, even if they didn't think it was likely. The discourse about her has always been mixed, but just looking at the general tone of conversation after, a lot of people are betraying their contempt for her as a public figure. It is proven by how much people are reaching. I see tons of non-mma fans talking about how she deserved it because she didn't touch gloves. No one cares about that most of the time.

 

Sure, if she had won people would have talked about how incredible she is, but she lost in devastating fashion and people are quick to jump on the "you had that coming" bandwagon.

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Ronda Rousey was/is a heel the same way one could say LeBron James was a heel for the Heat, Michael Jordan was a heel, and Mike Tyson was a heel. Rousey was a babyface when she first started grabbing headlines because everyone loves an asskicker. At a certain point, though, she became unbeatable and I think the moment during the fight when it became clear that Holm actually had a chance to beat her, there was almost a collective shift to rooting for the underdog.

 

Look at Michael Jordan. He was everybody's hero for those first few playoff runs, especially before the first championship win. Then, once the Bulls were ridiculously dominant, it became about watching to see if anyone could manage to win 4-out-of-7 against the GOAT. Hell, Jordan was such a heel, his hellishness turned the notoriously polarizing Charles Barkley into an unlikely babyface in 1993.

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Supremebve, maybe, but I think that only holds up as long as she is winning. Her success made responses to her very mixed, but as soon as she lost many people have been quick to turn on her. I am not invested in people hating her. I wanted her to lose, but I always root against unstoppable champions in sports, sans Anderson Silva. I don’t like the persona of flawless champion. I hated superman. I hated Hulk Hogan. In MMA I almost always root against a fighter that is seen as unstoppable. So that is part of the reason I dislike her, but she has never seemed like public figure I identify with either.

 

I am talking here about the people I watched with and the responses I am seeing on line. I watched with a group of very casual fans who were all on board to see Rousey kill Holmes. As soon as she was getting rocked the room got really excited and everyone (to a person) started talking about how Rousey has always been kind of a bitch and how that was awesome that she got humbled by a class striker. MMAjunke ran an article yesterday about all the online hate she has been getting since the loss, about how the general tone turned (link below), so it isn’t JUST me. There was at least a large part of the audience that genuinely wanted her to lose. Sure, she has anti-hero appeal and I think that is what makes her a conflicting character, but she certainly isn’t a baby face.

 

http://mmajunkie.com/2015/11/trading-shots-on-the-gleeful-response-to-ronda-rouseys-fall-at-ufc-193

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What is it about Ronda's attitude that people don't like? I only ask because I don't follow this stuff too closely. All that I really know about her is an article I saw where she claimed she is supporting Bernie Sanders for President.

 

There are a lot of folks, in different social groups or work groups that I am involved in, that dislike her for different reasons. Some of the legitimate reasons some friends of mine dislike her is transphobic comments she has made, slut shaming other famous women, claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, and other bizzare things she has said or claimed. She also gets a lot of hate for some of the other reasons written on here and also, let's be honest, there is a lot of misogyny among MMA fans and the general public.

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I never disliked Ronda myself but I can recall actively rolling my eyes on several occasions when reading people making ridiculous claims like she could beat Floyd Mayweather in a fight & shit like that. Just recently Paige of WWE, jokingly or not, insinuated that Ronda could beat the entire locker room, including the men.

 

She was a very successful fighter & this most recent fight exposed her. If that leads to the more over-the-top comments being hindered, then bravo for that. The rematch between the two will certainly make a lot of money. My issue was never with the fighter herself, it was with the way fans put her on a pedestal.

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I never disliked Ronda myself but I can recall actively rolling my eyes on several occasions when reading people making ridiculous claims like she could beat Floyd Mayweather in a fight & shit like that. Just recently Paige of WWE, jokingly or not, insinuated that Ronda could beat the entire locker room, including the men.

 

She was a very successful fighter & this most recent fight exposed her. If that leads to the more over-the-top comments being hindered, then bravo for that. The rematch between the two will certainly make a lot of money. My issue was never with the fighter herself, it was with the way fans put her on a pedestal.

Here's the thing though, she is really fucking good. Holly Holm is a good boxer, from an elite camp, who prepared her to fight the perfect fight. Rousey is a grappling savant, who can beat any woman in the world if she's able to work her game. Honestly Rousey is as good as people say she is at what she does, Holm didn't allow her to do that. If she can get inside and clinch with any 135 pound woman in the world, including Holly Holm, I think she wins. Holm trains at Jackson's MMA with guys like Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, and about 25 other good to great MMA fighters. She could train with some of the best in the world, for the rest of her life and still not have the ability to keep Rousey from judo throwing her and locking in an arm bar her if she didn't keep her range.

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Some of the legitimate reasons some friends of mine dislike her is transphobic comments she has made, slut shaming other famous women, claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, and other bizzare things she has said or claimed.

 

Oh, hey, here are the reasons for my schadenfreude that I figured I shouldn't mention in the other thread.

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What is it about Ronda's attitude that people don't like? I only ask because I don't follow this stuff too closely. All that I really know about her is an article I saw where she claimed she is supporting Bernie Sanders for President.

 

There are a lot of folks, in different social groups or work groups that I am involved in, that dislike her for different reasons. Some of the legitimate reasons some friends of mine dislike her is transphobic comments she has made, slut shaming other famous women, claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, and other bizzare things she has said or claimed. She also gets a lot of hate for some of the other reasons written on here and also, let's be honest, there is a lot of misogyny among MMA fans and the general public.

 

 

Disagree strongly with the misogyny comment here. Jon Jones gets just as much hate for his douchebaggery. See also guys like Nick Diaz. If there's one thing MMA fans do it's hate on fighters.

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What is it about Ronda's attitude that people don't like? I only ask because I don't follow this stuff too closely. All that I really know about her is an article I saw where she claimed she is supporting Bernie Sanders for President.

 

There are a lot of folks, in different social groups or work groups that I am involved in, that dislike her for different reasons. Some of the legitimate reasons some friends of mine dislike her is transphobic comments she has made, slut shaming other famous women, claiming the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, and other bizzare things she has said or claimed. She also gets a lot of hate for some of the other reasons written on here and also, let's be honest, there is a lot of misogyny among MMA fans and the general public.

 

 

Disagree strongly with the misogyny comment here. Jon Jones gets just as much hate for his douchebaggery. See also guys like Nick Diaz. If there's one thing MMA fans do it's hate on fighters.

 

 

Have you been online, at any bars, hearing the way people talk about Rousey? Also, let's not pretend like some of the Jones hate isn't racist either. Like Rousey, there are many legitimate things Jones gets hated on, and then there is some stuff said about Jones that is really fucked up. It's not difficult to see how some people apply criticisms to some fighters.

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Ronda is a lot like John Cena in the way that some of the most hardcore of fans who visit MMA websites every day resent her a lot. In her case it's partly due to all the stupid shit she says.

 

She has been vocally criticising Mayweather for being a woman beater and raising her voice at how people give him a pass because he's famous, but then she's dating an alleged domestic abuser. UFC reinstated him in the organisation after a 3rd party investigation had "inconclusive evidence". Maybe the dude is completely innocent and he has been framed by a crazy ex (not the first time this ever happens) but UFC's track record in handling domestic abusers isn't the best.

 

Both her and Dana White have made some dubious comments about Cyborg and her sexuality.

 

She also claimed that she could beat the entire 135 pound men's division. Really. I guess TJ Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao are included in that list. At least that retarded debate is now dead.

 

She even once said that, given the right circumstances, she could even beat Cain Velasquez. I wonder if "the right circumstances" involve her having an AK-47.

 

It doesn't help how Ronda, McGregor, Jones and others are perceived to have special treatment from Dana White. Many MMA fans are ashamed former wrestling fans who hate their precious sport being anything like fake shit wrestling.

 

I like Ronda and I hope that she stops surrounding herself with losers and comes back stronger than ever, but she's got a somewhat unlikable personality and tends to stick her foot in her own mouth.

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The UFC wasn’t always a heel promotion, but it certainly is now. Their central stars are Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, and Ronda Rousey. McGregor is probably not nearly the ass hole he plays on TV, but dropping lines about how many people died to make his watch and taking the belt from his champion opponent… that is top level heel stuff. Jon Jones does drugs, more or less gets caught cheating on his wife regularly, and drives his car into stuff all the time, never seeming to be too remorseful. He is so generally unlikable it drives me nuts. Ronda also rubs people the wrong way. She seems likeable sometimes, but her competitiveness turns her into raging bitch. The chip on her shoulder is well past endearing or charming. Casual and hardcore fans seem to be mixed on her since she is so fun to watch, but the general joy over her getting handled last night make it clear she is really a heel.

 

Vince wishes he had heels that got the kinda heat these three do.

 

The heels are the center of attention in the UFC. We have come along way since the Face-centric days of Forrest, Chuck, GSP, Silva, Randy and so on.

 

Tito was a clear heel, pretty much the best of his era.

 

Hughes was a dick, so even as they pushed him as a great champ, he kind of was a heel. Goofy guys like Trigg weren't strong good enough faces to let Hughes' heeldom dominate the build up, but he was a Matt's dick nature came through. It really was against GSP and Serra where he got to go heel. But if you see his stuff prior to that, he's an old school arrogant cocky heel who was so good (for the era) that he didn't need to go all bullshit Sonnenville to talk himself into getting title matches.

 

I always thought the fans took Silva to be a heel, especially in matches where he just dogged it and showed up the opponents (often when he was bored). Fans really wanted to see him get beat at various times. Of course Chael Sonnen was a bigger heel, but even in that first match there were plenty of people as it went on hoping Chael would pull the upset. Silva pulling it out of his ass is probably one of the few true babyface moments he had.

 

BJ was kind of a dick, and a lazy dick to boot. But didn't really know how to play heel strongly.

 

The Crazy Diaz Brothers have been heels forever. Koscheck was a heel, and embraced it. Dan Hardy was a dick heel.

 

Brock was pretty clearly working as a heel, but (i) fans loved his dominating, and (ii) he didn't really have a good GSP-style face to go against, so... Brock kind of was a heel the fans turned face.

 

They've long had heels. Most of the heels didn't have true title ability, or ran into dynastic champs like GSP who they couldn't beat. In turn, most of the heels who were who had true title ability were guys that the promotion wanted to push hard as Iconic Historic Champs (Hughes, Silva, BJ) or couldn't work effectively doing heel promos (BJ) that their heeldom was muted by the promotion of their own promotional skills.

 

I'm surprised I got this far before mentioning Tank Abbott. Who does capture the 90s and 00s heels pretty well: didn't have the ability to back up his heel bullshit at a main event level.

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We're they're really weak right now is in faces. The faces are all pretty much boring.

 

Cain. Werdum... I can't tell if he's a face or a hell, he's just boring.

 

Jones was a terrific face who turned into a terrific heel before getting derailed by the coke, but as likable as Cormier is out of the ring, he really isn't a great face opposite a potential monster heel in Jones. Anthony Johnson is a real life heel, but obviously the UFC isn't going to touch that.

 

Weidman was a bland, boring underdog face, but you hold the title for two years and you stop being an underdog.

 

Hendricks was kind of a throwback "everyman" persona babyface, but going up against GSP didn't make him the face. Then he fell flat to Lawler. Robbie is a good story, but hasn't really found his face vibe. They push Rory as a face, but he hasn't had the ability to take the final step.

 

The lower divisions... other than Mighty Mouse, does any division even have the level of face that Frankie was when he was champ? Frankie couldn't carry a card (in terms of draw, rather than having good match quality), so was more akin to a good semifinal / co-main event champ... maybe like a Tag Title under a World Title as the draw. Faber is a good face, but is 0-for-Years in title matches.

 

The promotion loved having McGregor drop into their laps, and then are creaming all over themselves over him beating Mendes.

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All that more or less supports the point here. It isn't that they have never had heels or never had periods of being somewhat heel centric, but that their focus right now, their strenght is heel fighters. They have had heel champions, but as you said the longer reigns, the big draws were USUALY a mixed bag, until fairly recently. They are selling their fights based on heel work and part of this is because they are low on faces. Their biggest gates are drawn by heels and when they want to make sure they draw big numbers they turn to... heels. Sure they have had heels, but I am not sure they have ever been so focussed on heels to carry the product. Even if there was a period like this, I am just saying they are a heel organization right now and that this... like everything... is pro wrestling.

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