UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey served as a head coach on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, which comes to an end on Saturday night, and her appearance on the show has been met with mixed reaction.
Rousey is an intense competitor that isn’t playing up a certain persona for the cameras, so many have been turned off by her constant intensity and the way that she acts towards fellow coach Miesha Tate.
As far as Bryan Caraway, who is a member of the Team Tate staff and Tate’s boyfriend, is concerned, the TUF 18 appearance has “exposed” Rousey for the person that she really is and he believes that it has led to more people backing Tate for their upcoming fight.
From a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani:
“I absolutely do (believe Ronda lost fans). I think the world’s getting a little bit of balance back. The UFC PR machine is incredibly strong. Ronda was the all American blonde girl, Olympic medalist, and was beating everybody in the first round so they said, ‘This is gold, we’re going to take her and mold her into whatever we want her to be.’
As far as her personality, she has the credentials and physical appearance to market well. The UFC did a great job on that and I think the Ultimate Fighter shed just a little bit of light on the type of person that she really is. I do think that it exposed her, I would say, and I think the balance has shifted a little bit and Miesha has gained a lot more fan following base.
I definitely don’t think Miesha is the fan favorite, I mean, Ronda still has 350,000 followers, or whatever it is, and there are a lot of people who don’t follow the sport that close enough that they just see the she’s an Olympian and a cute girl that’s a world champion. They just see the little list of credentials and accomplishments that she’s done and they think this girl has done so much and she’s amazing. But they don’t know anything about her personally.
On a personal level, I definitely think for the fans that follow MMA, it (TUF) definitely brought a little balance to women’s MMA and gained followers for Miesha.”
Of course, the cameras only tell so much.
There are plenty of fighters on the cast that said Caraway and Tate were instigating Rousey when the cameras won’t rolling, so we will never know the full story. However, all that matters is Rousey is able to keep her emotions in check when she enters the octagon on December 28 in the co-main event of UFC 168 to retain her title with another impressive performance.
If people don’t like the person Rousey was on TUF, it really won’t matter.