Sonnen: Rousey Wasn’t The Best Fighter In The World
Chael Sonnen believes former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was a product of being in the right place at the right time.
Rousey was a pioneer of women’s mixed martial arts as she headlined the first-ever women’s fight in the UFC when she defeated Liz Carmouche back in 2013. She would go on to dominate the division for the next couple of years, leading many to believe she was the best fighter in the world.
However, things came crashing down eventually when she was knocked out by Holly Holm in 2015 and then Amanda Nunes in 2016. She would leave the sport soon after with many — in hindsight — tracking back on their previous comments about Rousey’s fighting ability.
Sonnen, though, never believed Rousey was the best fighter in the world.
“I do admit I never thought that Ronda was the best fighter in the world,” Sonnen said on Ariel and The Bad Guy (via MMA News). “The division was just forming and she was in the right place at the right time. And that sounds insulting but that’s the way I see it.”
Sonnen, however, does give props to “Rowdy” for leaving the sport as soon as she knew it wasn’t what she wanted to do anymore.
“Ariel, I think she actually deserves a compliment,” he added. “When she took her ball and went home as you put it, I think that actually left a message. I think that decision looked kinda like a fine wine and got better in time in this way, when you’ve had enough in this sport get out of it. Whether that means opening up your spot on the roster or in her case, her spot in title fights and main events and giving that chance to somebody else, or just for her own sanity and physicality. If it’s not what you wanna do anymore, get out of the way.
“Don’t go one foot in and one foot out. I think Ronda’s decision, while judged and criticized at the time, I think it looks better with age. And I think that she made the right decision and helped to set a good example.”
Despite how Rousey’s UFC tenure ended, she will still undoubtedly go down as one of the legends of the sport.