Ronda Rousey said that Prince Vegeta was her cartoon crush growing up, and she behaved like him leading up to UFC 193.
Rousey started with instigating the banal banter of a championship fight. She said Holm would be happier as a contender and she hoped Holm would handle losing in a healthy manner. She said Holm was nice, but she’s going to lose.
When Holm didn’t bite during the fight promotion, Rousey ramped up the animosity by marching toward Holm after her weigh-in to initiate the stare down. She stood with her arm on the outside, making it awkward for Holm to raise hers. Holm responded with force, and Rousey called her fake and said she was “going to get it.” Even on fight night, Rousey refused to touch gloves.
While Rousey acted like Vegeta, aggressive and boisterous, Holm adopted the Son Goku approach and enjoyed herself.
You have to admit the similarity is uncanny.
While Vegeta is always scowling and only laughs at the expense of others, Goku is as upbeat and relaxed as a fighter could be.
Vegeta fights to prove he’s the best. Goku fights for the joy and challenge of fighting. He even spared Vegeta’s life just for a rematch.
However, under Goku’s care-free smile and naïve demeanor is the mental toughness and technical genius that allows him to overcome boundaries that Vegeta can’t.
Apparently both Goku and Holm can throw a mean elbow.
Holm’s Goku approach was most evident just before the fight. Despite Rousey’s antics during the stare-down, Holm said she respected Rousey as a fighter.
While Rousey made threats, Holm made friends during her media workout, letting a fan kick her mid-section, and danced to her workout music.
Anyone who didn’t know about Holm’s amazing boxing record might have thought she wasn’t taking this fight seriously. They might have thought the more brash Rousey was going to finish her off in one round like the rest of her opponents.
They thought wrong. Much like Goku, Holm respects her opponents, but she doesn’t cower from them. Nor does she walk into any fight unprepared. The Goku-approach doesn’t allow lackadaisical losers, and Holm walked into the ring looking every bit the champion she trained her whole career to become.
Rousey brought nothing to the fight that Holm wasn’t ready for. She evaded Rousey’s aggresion with flawless footwork around the ring and strong take-down defense. When Rousey tried an arm-bar, Holm broke free. During one clinch, Holm used her forearm to keep her at bay, a mainstay in boxing infighting(i.e. Floyd Mayweather). When Rousey charged, Holm slipped out of her line of attack so well Rousey fell over.
Holm picked Rousey apart with pin-point powerful striking. She landed a left elbow when Rousey cornered her. She landed repeated left straights through Rousey’s guard. She then knocked her out with a left high-kick at less than a minute into the second round.
Holm knelt by Rousey as the ring officials tended to her. Despite Rousey’s earlier refusal to tap gloves, Holm hugged her. Instead of replying to Rousey’s trash talk, Holm praised her own camp with tears in her eyes.
Rousey, like Vegeta, approached Saturday’s bout with aggression and bravado. Much like Vegeta, she took a thorough thrashing from a humble opponent rushed to the hospital to recover from her injuries.
Like Goku, Holm enjoyed the ride and gave it all she had on fight night. She transformed from underdog to trailblazing champion to the surprise of everyone but those who know her best.
Holm didn’t posture before UFC 193. She focused on training for the fight of her life just like Goku.
Holm’s Goku style allowed no gloating after the fight. She instead celebrated with her team and her husband.
Like Goku, Holm is now a hero. She made history as the first female fighter to win a championship in MMA and boxing. And she did it all with a smile on her face.
If Goku were real, he would laugh with her and then join her in eating everything in sight. Like Goku, Holm most certainly earned the right to a good cheat meal.
Enjoy the ride, my friends.