By now, we are all aware that Ronda Rousey lost her championship fight to Holly Holm on Sunday at UFC 193. A lot of people were actually quite pleased with this result, from

to Lady Gaga,



A photo posted by The Countess (@ladygaga) on

and of course the greater good of the Internet

However in spite of Rousey’s loss and whatever other criticism the world throws on her, I would like to come to her defence.

Firstly, debating over the ethics of her character is about as useful as reading through the comments section on her Facebook profile. Everyone has their own opinion and not me, nor some random comment on the Internet is going to change it.

Secondly, Rousey’s career, including her Melbourne loss, has shown us one thing: in the year 2015, we are finally talking about female athletes on the same level as their male counterparts. Anyone remember the male fights at UFC 193? What happened to Daniel Cormier or Brock Lesnar?

According to a 2015 study in Sport Marketing Quarterly, UFC viewership for the series experienced about a 20 percent spike on weeks when women fought.

This goes against the most popular sports, soccer and rugby, where female leagues are hardly televised due to a lack of demand. As the researchers pointed out, “sport itself has become gendered”.

Men are traditionally viewed as naturally adept at being aggressive and bonding together to defeat their opposition. However, “UFC” seems to have broken these rules. And it is not only Rousey who has increased the global attention of female athletes. “The CrossFit games”’ for instance do not discriminate between female and male athletes. Both receive the same coverage, and ‘boxes’ (CrossFit gyms) compete alongside females and males.

Just this week, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) even made their ‘Raw’ (the main weekly WWE show) main event a Diva Championship contract signing. WWE Divas have always been sidelined or dubbed ‘the bathroom break’ of the show, but on Nov. 16, female wrestlers Paige and Charlotte were given more attention than the men.

At the end of the day, whether you are posting some anti-Ronda meme or following her workout, you are indirectly increasing the power women hold in sport.

Ronda Rousey - who is frequently called fat - was once quoted in The New York Times as saying,

“If I can represent that body type of women that isn't represented so much in media, then I'd be happy to do that.”

In truth, she has does much more than that. Not only has she turned the entire image of a male-dominated combat sport upside down, she’s also changed sport in general. And with news that she is starring in the remake of 80’s action movie (where Patrick Swayze was shirtless half the time) “Road House”, I wish her good luck in changing Hollywood too

Themistocles works as a Personal trainer in Ultimo Sydney. As a Communications undergraduate, he hopes to contribute to the 'body image' discourse and work as a health journalist in the future. Contact him at, or let us know what you think below.