I wouldn’t consider myself a UFC fan; however, I found myself surrounded by hundreds of UFC fans on Saturday evening. In a failed attempt to find a pub that was airing the bout between Danny Garcia and Paulie Malignaggi on ESPN; I decided to partake in the pandemonium. Compared to other UFC PPV crowds I endured in the past, the crowd on Saturday night was a major improvement. There weren’t any pudgy meatheads looking to scrap with their tight TapOut shirts showing their muffin tops. Everyone was in great spirits, eagerly awaiting the main event between Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia, live from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Unfortunately, I was going into the main event completely unaware of the comments made by Bethe Correia regarding Ronda Rousey’s father committing suicide. The promos leading up to the main event were focused on the training for both sides leading up to UFC 190 rather than the trash talking from Correia. Bethe Correia on paper looked like she would’ve been able to last a few rounds with her striking ability, and her impressive undefeated record. Correia was her own worst enemy when charging Rousey without a solid attack plan, it appeared her nerves got the best of her.
Prior to the main event, I found it difficult to stay engaged with most of the Main Card fights. One notable fight that filled the room with humorous banter was during the Antonio Silva (Brazil) vs. Soa Palelei (Australia) fight. Many of the spectators were quick to share their disgust on the flabbiness of both fighters. More comments were directed to Soa Palelei with his tight shorts and butt crack showing after a minute of octagon action.
There was one fight that deserves more attention. By far the most impressive fight of the night was Claudia Gadelha (Brazil) vs. Jessica Aguilar (USA). Jessica Aguilar made her UFC debut against Claudia Gadelha (now #1 Contender for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division), where Jessica learned a very hard lesson that her entry into the UFC (from WSW) won’t be a walk in the park. The UFC should’ve made this fight the official undercard to the main event. Such poor program planning may have cost the UFC an opportunity to break into a new market.
Ask any casual UFC spectator, most UFC bouts can be challenging to watch; especially when most rounds are taken straight to the ground with minimal action over numerous rounds. Gadelha and Aguilar delivered, setting the stage for the remaining 6 fights. They brought a high intensity fight to the HSBC Arena with many solid punches. Fighting mostly on their feet, they went to war, and the crowd loved every second of it. With each passing minute Gadelha dominated Aguilar, eventually leading to a unanimous victory.
Between the first and last fight of the main card, there was only one notable fight, which was the finals from The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 Bantamweight bracket where Reginaldo Vieira def. Dileno Lopes by unanimous decision. Lopes appeared to be mimicking everyone of Vieira’s attacks by reversing each hold and applying his own version. Vieira got the best of Lopes to win the TUF Brazil 4 competition.
It is unfortunate that there are still spectators, living in the 21st Century, that have a difficult time accepting female athletes being in the spotlight. Some taking to Twitter and Facebook stating that females shouldn’t be headlining UFC events and that Dana White should focus on the true UFC fans. There isn’t any point to give these internet trolls anymore attention, so here are a few examples of positive messages from Saturday’s main event:
@RondaRousey You have single handedly opened Australia's eyes to MMA, first title fight I've ever seen reported on the news! Thank you
— Rex Regent (@Bdoubleya75) August 3, 2015
I need @RondaRousey to teach me some stuff in case anyone ever charges the mound. No one better to learn from to win a fight in < 20 seconds
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) August 3, 2015
What UFC 190 brought was a new fan base that have a vested interest in watching Ronda fight again, and hopefully the rematch between Claudia Gadelha vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (UFC Strawweight Championship). Ronda Rousey finishing the event, as a true contender, first by telling her defeated opponent not to cry. As well, she made a wonderful dedication to her late father and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Finally, she thanked the crowd, both supporters and haters, by saying “Muito Obrigado” (Translation from Portuguese is Thanks a lot), as the crowd from the HSBC Arena quickly dispersed during the final interview of the night.
I am happy to say I am now a fan of Ronda Rousey.