Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Why 135 is a good number

For some people, success is like farts - they are bothered if it is from anyone other than themselves.

I'm old enough to have long since given up hope of convincing ignorant people through reasoned argument.

However, since I'm taking a ten minute break from improving my PHP reporting scripts, I'll give you my take on the whole Ronda should fight at 145 pounds/ in the men's division/ wrestle a gorilla or whatever stupid idea someone has.

No. Ronda should not go up in weight.  Why should she?

Because she used to compete at a higher weight 7 years ago in the Olympics?

Anyone who says this clearly does not know the difference between judo competition and the UFC.

In judo, you weigh in the morning of the event and fight several matches over the course of what can be a 14 hour day or more. You have to hit that weight several times a year, often for three or four weekends in a row. 

In the UFC, you weigh in more than 24 hours before the match. You fight one match that lasts at most 25 minutes. You have to hit the weight at most three or four times a year and always at least two months apart.

If you cannot compare the two and understand that given the difference, the lightest weight a person could make would be substantially lower in the second situation, then you have never competed in a sport with weight divisions.

She needs to prove that she is not afraid of anyone.

She has won Olympic and world medals in judo, and world title belts in two different promotions in mixed martial arts. She has set a record for fastest win in a title defense and long before this she won the finals of the junior world judo championships in 4 seconds. No matter who she beats and what she does, it will not be enough for some people.

After I won the world championships, Steve Seck, one of my teammates and a member of the Olympic team gave me sound advice, when I was criticized for deciding to pursue a Ph.D. rather than an Olympic medal.

Fight when you feel it is right for you, and when it isn't, then stop. It doesn't matter what anyone else says. Those same people who are criticizing you now, saying, "Yes, you won the world championships, but could you win the Olympics?" If you went out and won the Olympics, they would be saying, "Yeah, but could you do it again?"

She does not need to prove anything to you. She's never even met you. There are people who cannot stand that Ronda is successful and want to see her fail. They don't care if she gets beaten by a man, a person twice her size or a bear. They just cannot stand that someone else is successful and they are not.

Tomorrow morning, Ronda will wake up and she'll be herself and those people will be them. That's karma.

It's the fight the fans want to see. It is her responsibility to make it happen.

That is two different points, but I'll address both. Lots of fans either don't care if Ronda goes up in weight or would rather she fought whoever their own particular favorite fighter is. There are very anti-steroid people who think anyone who fails a drug test should be out for life.

It sounds nice to say give the customers what they want. I'm reminded of Dilbert's response when the pointy-haired both said that to him.

What our customers want is better products for free.

I really want to know why it is ONLY Ronda's responsibility to make it happen.

I do a lot of work in North Dakota where schools sometimes play football with eight players on a team, because they don't have enough players to make a full 11-man team.

Let's say we have a team blowing away all of the other teams. Those players then go on to be on a Division I championship team.

Another team (let's say it was suspended for cheating a few years ago and then dropped out of Division I when they started random out of competition drug testing), is now the Division III champion. They come up and say the other team should drop three of their players and play 8 men against their 11. Are those 8 men afraid of going against the 11-man team? Hey, they played 8-man football in high school, they should do it now.

I don't believe in special rules for special people.

Here is what really pisses me off. Seriously, if you want to fight someone who has a world title, you establish yourself as a contender and fight them. You make the same weight. You subject yourself to random out-of-competition drug testing. You are under the same rules as everyone else.

 You don't ask people to make up a special division just for you. You don't ask out of your contract the same week the organization announces out of competition testing, go to compete in a promotion that doesn't have the same budget for drug testing and then come in through the back door. You don't claim that making the weight for a title fight will kill you but five pounds more you'll be the picture of health.

You don't say that everyone else in the world has to make weight, but not me. It would be too hard for me.

This whole thing is stupid.

I'm going back to my day job which is making games that make you smarter.

You can click here to get one for yourself for fun, gift one to a friend - or just a stupid person who really needs it.


Anonymous said...

I applaud your effort to try to explain the concept of weight cutting and weight classes to people that have never experienced it. You are spot on. The mentality of a challenger should be, this is what I want, how do I get there? Not, this is what I want, how can I take the easy way out and still get it? The champ has the belt. You want it? Come get it. But, play by the rules. Cyborg sabotaged her own career. She's a great fighter nontheless. But, is she deserving? Not sure.--------TJ Hauck.

Bill said...

i totally get what you are saying At the end of the day it's Ronda's choice. At the same time I totally get where the fans are coming from, they want to see this fight since "on papar" or "in their minds" Cyborg appears to be Ronda's toughest competitor. But ultimately it is Ronda's choice to stay at 135 lbs., and I do not think there is a right or wrong here. If for whatever reason (either monetary or for the purpose of her legacy) Ronda chose to fight at 145 lbs that decision I would respect as well. Bottom line it's Ronda's life and she gets to choose. With that said I know that Ronda would beat Cyborg, other people may disagree, but to me she's light years ahead skill wise from any MMA fighter male or female. Her ability to find submissions where no other fighter does stands out among all the UFC athletes whether male or female.

Anonymous said...

First off..let me start off by saying that I have a HUGE amount of respect for Ronda. Shes an inspiration to me by everything she has accomplished. I can really appreciate how awesome she is (not just in MMA but in life)

However...Ronda says she wants to be the greatest of all time.. she cant have that title by continuing to fight outmatched opponents. (Except Cat..shes a beast). She says she wants the toughest fights. Who in the womans division is more tough than Cyborg?

I thought your a true fighter and want to prove to be the best in the world. But all you want is Cyborg to be like Anthony Johnson when he was cutting at 170 so she wont be the same fighter. All the girls in the UFC are nothing close to Ronda and Cyborg...the only girl out there is Cyborg.

Anyways.. PEACE... I like all you guys. Im just a fan who wants to see the fight! but your safety and health and well being come first so cant blame ya

Recce Rifleman said...

100% correct on every point. But then, I've made weight for Judo and I've done a professional cut as well... so I must be "biased."

Unknown said...

I'm a huge fan of you and Ronda, I think I will book mark this blog and send it to any ignorant person who doesn't understand the logistics of the sport. This is 100% spot on. Keep writing, I have never struck intrest in blogs but yours is the only one I read. Have a wonderful day ��

Anonymous said...

No disrespect ma'm and you are right, but it is all just excuses and fight fans absolutely do not care.

Sorry, that is the truth. Fight fans do not care about "facts" or the "truth". They want to see the fight.

Fight fans want to see it happen -- everything else is just a barrier to the fight.

Ronda needs Cyborg -- there really is nobody else.

LanceW said...

Hi, (yet another) great post.

Nothing else to say really. :-)

Matt said...

All great points. I've never thought of the weight issue like this... but I've also never competed. Important information. Anyway, I'm a Ronda fan who thinks the onus is on the challenger to meet qualifications. It seems such an obvious and clear cut thing that it shouldn't be causing such confusion. The only question I have is why is Cyborg so anxious to get arm barred? :)

Anonymous said...

There is one point left to adress - who else will Ronda ever fight? There is literally no worthy challenger left in her division. Is she retiring? If she doesn't want to retire now, who can she fight if not Cyborg? Can you name one other opponent in her division who she cannot finish within 30 seconds?

Mauno Lobster said...

It's easier for Rousey to hit 145 than Cyborg to get to 135, in fact she'd probably die in that process - something you probably wish to happen as Rousey would 99.5% lose that fight.

Anonymous said...

Even if she did fight a gorilla... My moneys on Rhonda ;)

Anonymous said...

This post should be picked up by ESPN. It's shameful what the sports outlets produce and the hate filled comments by those that wish she will fail daily posted on comment sections.

Al B Here said...

You know, there's a part of me that feels like I could have written this exact blog post, word for word. Suffice it to say, I agree with your point of view and applaud Ronda for sticking to her guns.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with your well reasoned blog a lot more if the champion at 135 pounds didn't agree to fight an actor at 145 pounds.

John said...

"For some people, success is like farts - they are bothered if it is from anyone other than themselves."

Best quote of the day.

I agree that why should a champion have to accommodate for another that doesn't even fight for the same promotion. If you want to fight the champion you should do whatever you need to for that opportunity and not have to come up with excuses why you can't and try to bully your way with stipulations. If you want it go get it. - JW

Anonymous said...

Can your game be played on an ipad? I'm an avid fan of Ronda and your blog, btw.

Smargalicious said...

Very good post. Please tell your daughter not to go up in weight, even if it is for big $$. A lot of danger in that. Ronda has earned her position as the dominant fighter in the 135 class.

Unknown said...

It's apparent that Cyborg wants to take the easy way out and have the fight given to her. It's the same concept that got her/it popped for banned substances in the first place.

the_Splean said...

So what Bob# was Big Brown? :)

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% the challenger should be the one chasing the title. The only reason for RR to go up to 145 is if she wants the title of 'Most Dangerous Woman in MMA' because that's the one title she hasn't won yet because that's Christine.

Anonymous said...

Love your column. In walking around weight Cyborg outweighs Ronda by at least 20-25 pounds. Ronda fights at 135, Cyborg 145. Reports were she weighed around 160 or more on fight night. My question is , how is this an even fight? Has this been brought up? Mike Tomeucci

DonDiva40 said...

Family members that are unconditionally supportive is a dream come true for few athletes or even people in general. Yours is an awesome interpretation of that fact. Phenomenal.

mike ripple said...

Mrs DeMars...I agree with everything you say here...you are spot on.
And now for a comment about that night...UFC 184. The co-main event. I know you were there and watched this fight. Every sports news outlet has covered this fight between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington from the wrong angle IMO. All the sports media outlets maintain that Holly was not herself, did not live up to the hype, and regard her entire performance as a detriment to her true ability.
Not one word about the other fighter! I believe Raquel had the fight of her career in that split decision loss. Hell...she broke both of her hands and is out of commision for six months!!
She showed more heart than I have ever seen from her. I resent the fact that the media is denegrating Holly's performance and forgetting that there was another person on the opposite side of the cage that night with no fear of the 10 time world champion and the heart of a lion.

Anonymous said...

If Ronda does not fight Cyborg, there will always be an asterisk next to her name saying she never fought her and there will always be that "what if" floating around. That's just the way it's gonna do down despite all the reasons you, Ronda, and Dana throw at us.

This isn't about who's the champ and what not, Cris has proven to be just as great a champion as Ronda. Because she isn't holding a title labed "UFC" means she doesn't have a right to ask Ronda to move up to 145 or at least 140? Absurd.

Take all the titles away, take all the companies and corporate stuff away and you have two vicious females who need to fight each other. Ronda being more well known than Cris doesn't mean she should have more leverage. She can't call herself the best if she refuses to move up a weight class.

Unknown said...

Great post but I must admit I'd be more interested in somebody somewhere writing a blog post titled 'Why Cyborg deserves to fight Ronda' because that baffles me.

Anonymous said...

"Ronda needs Cyborg" like Jose Aldo needs Chris Weidman.

Unknown said...

Ronda is The Champ. It's her job to stay The Champ.

Not fight men or bears or cyborgs, or whatever.

mike ripple said...


mike ripple said...

...but she would do it for Gina???
...so one of your points might not apply if Gina had knocked out and armbared every fighter she had ever faced, then decided to go make movies.
Is it because deep down Ronda knows she can destroy Gina on the ground at any weight.
Or...does she just despise Cyborg immensely for being a cheat?

Anonymous said...

Everything you said was right. But you know, there's nobody left in Ronda's weight class. So maybe she should retire and make movies? What other option does she have? Beat up on lesser opponents? There is no shame in being afraid to get punched. 11 of Cyborg's 14 wins were by KO (the last one w/broken nose), and the other 2 wins by unanimous decision. She has 1 NC because of steroids, and she paid the price. It is really inappropriate to lambaste her publicly about that - the smokescreen doesn't help Ronda's legacy. Anyway, I still think Ronda should move on and make her millions making movies. All the best. DonM

Anonymous said...

Cat actually moved up in weight from 125lbs to 135lbs, 10 pounds to Fight Ronda

RD said...

When Ms Rousey stops proclaiming to be the best fighter in the world, or ever, and more accurately states that she is the women's 135lb world champion, all the "visceral" cyborg rhetoric will go away. MMA fans may still want to see the fight, but Cyborg fans will no longer feel they need to defend Cyborg's skill set or place in history.

Jaime Andres said...

I have to disagree. One, Ronda already fought at that weight class in MMA. She went down in weight class because there was more competition at the time. Two, Ronda has claimed she is the best female fighter in the world, not in her weight class. That means she claims she can defeat women in other weight classes, and especially in one she already was a part of. Three, she says she is willing to go to the weight for Gina Carrano. So she is willing to go to that weight class again. Personally, I think she beats Santos, but she shouldn't say she can if she won't take the fight. Have them test the crap out of Santos throughout the training process, but if she is going to claim to be the best, she has to beat the best. Including Santos.

Daniel Polowetzky said...

I wish the best for Ronda!

I hope she makes a lot of money while still neurologically intact and goes on her merry way!

The main point of MMA or prize fighting is making money. This is why the latter is known as "prize" fighting.

If Judo paid a return to Judo would be welcome.

Daniel Polowetzky said...

The whole notion of being "the greatest" is a non-issue. Because of the advantage of weight, all other things being equal, being able to beat everyone has to be adjusted for this factor.

At some point, even an average competitor greatly outweighing a technically superior lighter competitor will win.

There is a reason great light heavy weight boxing champions have struggled to become heavy weight champions even when adding weight.

Grapple00 said...

1> Spot on.
2. You know, Dr. De Mars, I sure wish I could have trained with you. No wonder you have so much success.

mike ripple said...

And the answer is...Miss Rousey does not want to give a bonafide, admitted cheater any financial benefits on her account. And that is her perogative. If Ronda fights Cyborg at 135, 140, 145, or 150...she receives the exact same payday so why not force Cyborg to come to 135...at least it would mean something in the division.
Ronda doesn't like Cyborg and she certaintly doesn't care what the armchair analysts think. She really doesn't need the money either. Cyborg does.

Anonymous said...

There have been multiple men that have fought at a catch weight and did not have any problems with it. Ronda started out at 145. If the fight is not for a belt, why want Ronda fight Cris at a catch weight or 145. Five more pounds should not make a difference for Ronda. People don't care about a UFC title fight. They want to see who is the better MMA fighter.

jt said...

I think people wanting Ronda to fight Cyborg has some point too. It's not that they want Ronda to fail. It's just that she is destroying everyone and they wish to have some kind of a challenge for her.

In her last fight, I was rooting for Cat. Not because I dislike Ronda. It's because it would be a fairytale ending if Cat won. But of course, back in my head I know Ronda can destroy her within just 1 round.

But I really don't care if a fight with Cybor will materialize or not. I just hope Dana White can raise someone from somewhere that can pose some problems for Ronda.

Ronda's fights are not even fair. Her skill level is so high, she is on a league of her own. I just don't believe that UFC can bring someone in the next 2-3 years that can give Ronda problems.

Now that it is given that Ronda is untouchable, how does she keep her hunger and focus on training? It's like all challengers are no challenge at all.

jt said...

If Ronda and Cyborg will agree to meet at 140, I still believe Cyborg has no chance. It's not hard to get a clinch on anyone. And Ronda is the best in the business in clinch and finishing the fight methodically from there. I don't think the +5lbs can save Cyborg.

Ventus said...

Speaking honestly, a fight between ms Rousey and cyborg doesnt interest me at all. All that negativity around it just makes it all completely dull to me.

Instead i will say something about negativity in general that i think all humans should be aware of. I think it may help everyone, at least to some extent.

It is quite a simple and fairly undeniable truth that humans are prone to notice anything negative much more then anything else.

It is actually a biological imperative that evolution chiseled into us. Put quite simply, the better you are at noticing negative things around you, the better you can predict something bad happening in advance - more likely you are to survive.

Of course, right? Whoever could figure out that some predator will attack, or that some natural catastrophe will happen or predict animosity from other humans before it happens would have greater chances to do something about it and so survive. Natural selection driven by this fundamental unavoidable truth and reality, over hundreds and hundreds of thousands (or millions) of years has resulted in us being very prone to notice or see negative side in everything.

In modern civilization that creates its own multitude of problems, that get further enhanced through various media that we have.

I dont think anyone will deny that all media we have, from movies to TV to newspapers to the internet is consisting of 90% (speaking relatively) negative things. And then we who are so prone and trained to notice negatives all around us get even more influenced by it all. And we react negatively to it all, more often then not.

Anyone who reads newspaper or watches daily news, or googles or reads comments on web sites for mass consumption knows this.

Since most people are not actively aware of this relatively simple trick or natural feature we have - it often gets overblown, it gets the better of us, it often makes us think everything is bad.

But as we all know things are not like that really. If we stop and look around we can see a lot of good things too. And a lot of things in between two extremes.

Its just that the bad has bigger influence on us. Its easier for the bad to hit us bellow the belt, to get our attention and to seem overwhelming because of it.

Bot to complicate things more... i think that just trying to be aware of this, to consciously recognize it, will lower its effect on all of us.

I am not saying we should turn a blind eye to anything. Thats not even possible and doing so only causes other problems.

I am saying that if we are aware of it actively and consciously, the effect that negative has on us will be lowered to more reasonable levels.

So i would, if i can be so bold, advise everyone who read this to try and keep it in mind. It wont solve all problems, but it will help to keep ourselves from becoming a part of this negativity self reinforcing loop that tricks us all so easily.