It was unthinkable for nearly all of Ronda Rousey’s fans. For the dominant champion to fall at the hands of any opponent, let alone by a devastating KO, could never happen.
All that changed when Holly Holm shocked the world in a dominating fight that ended the realm of invincibility of Ronda Rousey.
One person who hasn’t seen Rousey as an entirely invincible force is her older sister, Maria Burns Ortiz, who wrote an emotional take on the former champion’s ups and downs from within her tight-knit circle for VICE. Ortiz wrote about the things that she saw as a sibling, that shed away the layers of what the media and spotlight have painted on the former champion.
“Ronda has risen to be one of the biggest stars in sports. A rising name in Hollywood. An endorser, a spokesmodel, a role model, and a lightening rod for controversy—loved and hated equally by those who will never meet or know her, which is all very surreal because I see her as none of those things. She is just Ronda. She is the kid who went to the mall for Pokemon tournaments. She is the one who left sweaty judo gis in the bathroom that I’d have to kick out of the way when I got out of the shower. She is the one we made ride down the stairs in a laundry basket to see if she would crash through the window at the bottom. (She didn’t, but that did not prevent my mother from yelling at us all for such “stupidity.”) She lives in a Venice Beach bungalow that—despite her having hired a cleaning lady—still looks like her closet has exploded all over the living room. She is fearless and sensitive and hilarious and “just Ronda.” Nothing that has happened in the past year or the past 20 years or the next 20 years will ever change that.”
Ortiz also writes about the trolls that have come out of the woodwork to point their finger at the fighter she has helped get up, “not just in the past few weeks but in the past 28 years.”
“Occasionally I wonder how people could say such awful things about someone they don’t even know, someone they’ve never met. I attribute it to the fact that their mothers probably didn’t love them enough, and then I briefly curse out the part of the Internet that allows people to hide behind anonymity as they let out the worst parts of themselves.
Sometimes, all you can do is think, “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”
Then I move on with my life, because you can only waste so much time on other people’s stupidity.”
Ortiz admits that Ronda Rousey was crushed in her defeat, but ultimately ends saying that it is simply the start to a new beginning.
“. . . we expected Ronda to win. Just like we always do. Just like we always will. But she didn’t. I haven’t rewatched it. I haven’t read about it. I won’t. I don’t see a point in reliving the moment when a part of my loved one died, when I saw someone I cared about have her soul crushed. I saw how horrible people can be to someone they don’t even know, which made me even more appreciative when I saw how wonderfully Ronda’s friends and family treated her. Those are the people that matter.”