Rousey vs Holm: A Lesson in Sportsmanship

When Holly Holm took down Ronda Rousey on Sunday with her notorious head kick, she made professional fighting history. Holm is now the first person (man or woman) to hold boxing, MMA, and UFC championship titles. But her show stopping knockout of Rousey in only 59 seconds was not the only takeaway value of the night. Holm and Rousey's fight has taught us some important lessons on sportsmanship and what it means to be humble, even in the spotlight.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Ronda Rousey, she's the girl who started women's UFC, and is easily the league's superstar. She's garnered celebrity status from her fight with Beth Correia, when she knocked out her opponent in 34 seconds, and has been undefeated up until her match against Holm. She's appeared on Jimmy Fallon, had photos in Sports Illustrated, and is soon to be a movie star. But Rousey's fame and esteemed attitude may have led to her defeat by Holm.

During weigh-ins, Rousey was unnecessarily aggressive and badmouthed Holm, while Holm kept a straight face and said a few respectful words about her opponent. And right before the fight, when the two were meant to touch gloves as a sign of mutual respect, Rousey refused to tap fists with her opponent. To Rousey fans and avid UFC watchers, this display of attitude may not have been a surprise. Rousey is known for her bad sportsmanship. She consistently talks herself up, claiming that she is the best female fighter in the world, and mocked her earlier opponent Beth Correia by saying "don't cry" straight after knocking her out. The displays before this highly prestigious fight were no different.

Perhaps a kick to the head was just what Rousey needed. Holm showed that staying humble, even as a first class athlete and world champion, is what brings home the cake and garners respect. Ironically enough, Rousey predicted how the fight would go, minus the fact that she would be losing for the very same reasons she thought she would win. "I feel like she's going to try to like keep distance and keep far away from me and get me frustrated to the point I'll make a mistake and she can try to kick me in the head," Rousey said on Jimmy Fallon a few months back. With a big ego and clouded mind, that's exactly what Rousey let happen.

Despite their differences, Holm checked to see if Rousey was okay after the fight, and kept her modest standing. She even offered up a second chance for Rousey, and said that "a rematch is a kind of unspoken sense to [her]." Holm has proved herself a worthy and respectful opponent. Only time will tell if Rousey will take up her offer at a rematch, and reclaim her respect and bantamweight belt.