The UFC’s bizarrely dishonest marketing of Ronda Rousey ahead of UFC 170

Last week, during his bizarre "press conference" in his office, Dana White discussed Ronda Rousey and her place in the sport. The UFC president…

By: Brent Brookhouse | 9 years ago
The UFC’s bizarrely dishonest marketing of Ronda Rousey ahead of UFC 170
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Last week, during his bizarre “press conference” in his office, Dana White discussed Ronda Rousey and her place in the sport. The UFC president said of Rousey, “She’s the hugest superstar. I’m going to go out and say she’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

Rousey has proven to be a big star for the promotion, a mainstream attention draw and a woman who is also beginning to make a mark in Hollywood.

The combination of her mainstream appeal and her incredible performances in the cage make her a reasonably easy sell for the promotion.

Which opens the door for one simple question: Why is the UFC being dishonest about her accomplishments in their advertising for her UFC 170 bout with Sara McMann.

It started with this appearance from Joe Rogan on Fox Sports Live ahead of UFC Fight Night 36:

While explaining the accomplishments of both women, Rogan stated, “Ronda Rousey won the bronze in judo. The first woman ever to medal in the Olympics in judo.”

It seems a fairly innocent slip-up from Rogan. Rousey was not anywhere near the first woman to win an Olympic medal in judo, considering the first women awarded Olympic medals in judo were competing in the 1992 Summer Games. Rousey was, however, the first American woman to take home Olympic judo bronze. Still a mighty impressive accomplishment. And it’s not unreasonable to assume that Rogan simply misspoke during his passionate hype-job for UFC 170’s main event between Olympic medalists.

It’s the UFC 170 ad that has been in heavy rotation where things take a strange turn by repeating almost the exact same line:

Mike Goldberg can be heard exclaiming regarding Rousey, “The first female to medal in judo in the Olympics.”

The audio sounds manipulated, and I’m unsure what the original audio from Goldberg was, but it sounds like a word is edited out or two different things are pushed together as there’s an unnatural inflection change.

But an advertisement has to go through so many people before it hits the air that one has to wonder how it could possibly be a mistake that the finished product includes such an untrue statement.

In an odd twist, Sara McMann could actually stake a claim to being among the first women to ever medal in wrestling in the Olympics, since she picked up her silver at the 2004 summer games, the first time the Olympics featured women’s wrestling.

Rousey’s accomplishments are legit. She’s a tremendous athlete who has transitioned from Olympic medalist in judo (and, legitimately the first female American to win a medal in the sport) to the most dominant force in women’s mixed martial arts, serving as the flag bearer for women in the UFC and someone who is a genuinely compelling personality.

That the UFC is either choosing to manipulate facts or are too lazy and sloppy in their advertising department to get them right, likely speaks more to the UFC’s insecurities than to any need to not just let her tremendous talent speak for itself.

A tiny bit off topic, but here’s a bonus vid of Rousey training for McMann with 3 time Olympic wrestler:

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Brent Brookhouse
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