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The Wiseman Report – Is there a ‘Connie’ McGregor?

November, 15th 2015. UFC 193.

Everyone waited impatiently for Ronda Rousey’s first post-fight interview, but were we ready for what she said? I wasn’t expecting to read, “Either I’ll win and keep going or I won’t and I’ll be done with everything.”

This brings to mind: Who will carry the torch? Do we have a Ronda Jr.? Or are we lucky enough to have a female ‘Connie’ McGregor?

I searched for this person thinking what does Rousey have? What does McGregor have? Blending those two personalities together could just blow WMMA up. I started looking and thinking about female fighters who have a trash-talking mouth. However, outside of Bethe Correia and a few things said by Cyborg, there’s nothing. If we look at these two ladies, do they have main Event pay-per-view written on them? Cyborg has been around for a long time and I’m a huge fan, but compared to what Ronda and Conor have, that natural ability to run their mouth in a likeable fashion, she doesn’t have it. The same for Correira. Therefore, trash-talking is out.

Invicta FC 13
Cristiane Cyborg Justino. Courtesy Esther Lin/Invicta FC.

Let’s look at the photoshoot. McGregor was just named one of the 25 Hottest Sex Symbols of 2015. Ronda has been all over the Sports Illustrated swimsuit and body paint photoshoots. Looking at this ‘trait,’ we have a few female stars that could help carry the torch. For example, Paige VanZant, Miesha Tate, new champion Holly Holm, etc., so sex appeal we do have. The same swagger-type walk? No, but that sex appeal carried by McGregor and Ronda is within several female fighters. Ultimately though, this is something that we knew before as Gina Carano was the first female star to get attention in this way.

Gina Carano
Gina Carano. Courtesy Bikini Fitness.

Now we come to the meat and potatoes. When it comes to backing up their words, we have a few dominant women. Again, Cyborg has been killing women for years, Tate is at a standstill behind Rousey, Rose Namajunas is legitimate. Julia Budd dominates nearly  anyone she climbs in the cage with.

We do have ladies who can show technique and art inside the cage.

My mind is blank when it comes to carrying Ronda’s torch. The bottom line is: We don’t have anyone. However, we do have Randy Couture, GSP-type females that can attract fans and future fighters by their skills rather than the ability to verbally crumble opponents.

Holm comes to mind in that respect.

Holly Holm
UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm auctions one of her photos during the UFC Champion Holly Holm Welcome Home Parade at Civic Plaza on December 6, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Before the UFC started sanctioning female fights in 2013, we needed a female fighter that would catch Dana White’s attention; a Chael Sonnen-type aggressive personality to start things off and get people thinking differently. That person was Ronda Rousey.

Ronda Rousey
MMA fighter Ronda Rousey attends the 2013 Fox Sports Media Group Upfront after party at Roseland Ballroom on March 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

I’m not saying Ronda should leave the sport, but if she leaves, I believe Holm’s likeable character, her boxing accomplishments and down-to-earth attitude is bankable like GSP. He was the pay-per-view champion, and I believe that Holly could be that for WMMA going forward.

Who do you have? And what do you think is needed to carry the torch if Ronda leaves the sport?


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