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I’m a Woman, Here’s Why I Like to Fight: Guest post by Cheryl Ragsdale


Cheryl Ragsdale

That looks like eye shadow on this young woman’s eye (editor’s note: see the photo after the jump, not the author photo of Cheryl), but no. That is an actual black eye.

The woman is Ronda Rousey. Ronda tweeted this image to her fans as a way of letting them know that her MMA fight training is moving along smoothly. Getting a black eye is just part of what happens when you train in boxing, kick-boxing, wrestling, judo and Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Ronda Rousey black eyeMixed Martial Arts (MMA)

When you combine multiple fighting skills into one fight, that’s called Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. You may be familiar with men talking about UFC fights–passionately and at great length. UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship is the largest of the MMA fighting organization that have sprouted over the last 10 years.

MMA was mostly a fringe sport, but as of 2012, has now found it’s way onto the Fox network of channels including the Fox Channel, FX and the lesser known, Fuel TV. As you can probably imagine, men really like this sport. As it turns out, women do too.

Ronda is one of very few women who have trained themselves to compete at the highest level. Ronda fights for the Strikeforce organization (sister organization and owned by UFC). Ronda is a professional MMA fighter. She is also the next contender for the championship belt, currently held by veteran fighter, Miesha Tate.

Tate doesn’t like Rousey and vice versa

“Though she’s [Tate] argued that I’m less experienced than her, not able to deal with pressure, and likely to mentally break after the first minute… there’s no way she can conceive the amount of pain, sacrifice, bravery, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles I’ve had to overcome to make it to this point,” Ronda Rousey said on her UFC.com blog.

Ronda Rousey won an Olympic bronze medal in judo. I think she can handle the pressure. I’m a huge Ronda fan, but I’m also not discounting Miesha Tate’s skills. Miesha wrestled in high school–with the boys. Both of these women train mostly with men. That’s why black eyes sometimes happen.

They train full time. They look for sponsors to help them cover expenses and they get paid to fight in front of large audiences. This fight between Tate and Rousey is the most anticipated female fight ever. Their fight headlines “Strikeforce: Tate vs Rousey” on Showtime on March 3rd, 10 pm ET.

Ronda’s meteoric rise in a short time and her ability to finish her opponents in less than a minute of the first round, four times in a row, has earned her thousands of fans and more than a few haters.

Ronda continued on her UFC blog, “Some people like to call me cocky or arrogant, but I just think ‘How dare you assume I should think less of myself? The problem isn’t me thinking I can achieve any goal I set for myself, the problem is you projecting your own self doubt onto me.”

Fans either love Ronda or hate her.

It’s kind of a Betty or Veronica choice for me (from the old “Archies” comic book series). I appreciate them both, but I identify with Ronda more.

And I’m definitely a Veronica, more than a Betty.

Why do women fight?

I found a great quote, “Our whole life is solving puzzles.” Erno Rubik

Speaking for myself, I train to fight because I like to work out puzzles. I like the physical chess of sparring with another person (male or female) and noticing the subtle nuances that give away his or her next move–and make the decision to keep the action standing or take it to the floor.

We train with control. The objective is not to hurt each other. I already know (and so do they) that men are physically stronger than me. That is not a point to be proven. But there is always a question of who is most technically competent with choosing the right tool, implementing it at the right time, in the right place and with deadly accuracy. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes it fun.

Out of the dojo, mixed martial arts comes in very handy when faced with contests, competitions, debates and conversations with other people. You’d be surprised how often “fights” happen “unexpectedly in conversations or otherwise friendly debates.

Here’s how Ronda uses her MMA skills to prepare for whatever life throws her way.

From the UFC blog, “She [Tate] was obviously less prepared for the debate than I was, as I treated the debate like a fight in itself.

I saw the potential and importance of this opportunity and looked up every article I could find arguing her point of view. I then wrote a counter argument to every single point they made and took turns with my friends playing both myself and her in ‘practice arguments’. By the time we were on the show, she sounded uneducated and unprepared in comparison, conflicting herself and falling speechless on several occasions.”

Tate vs Rousey: I’m definitely more like a Ronda, than a Miesha.

About the author

Cheryl Ragsdale trains in Mixed Martial Arts with UFC Fighter Kenny Florian and Keith Florian at Florian Martial Arts. She applies her fight training to teaching people how to handle verbal skirmishes in professional and personal relationships. When people behave badly, who do you turn to for support and guidance? Cheryl is a Featured Contributor on Yahoo! Sports. She shares her opinions (fan reaction style) on the latest UFC and other MMA events and news. Visit her blog called “ThatGirlisFunny“.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tomas February 18, 2012, 12:42 am

    What could be more fun than punching, kicking and grappling on the mat with both sexes? Talking others down at least isn’t.
    Good post, keep up the good work!

  • Spencer February 19, 2012, 1:00 pm


  • Heather February 22, 2012, 8:06 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl! Josh, please have her over more often, she’s delightful! I really like Ronda’s quote about acheiving her goals! I also really dig that she read up on her opponent for a debate! I try to instill this idea into kids who have to write debate speeches, and I think this blog post would be appealing in that regard! Leaving your opponent speechless in a debate–that’s AWESOME!

  • Mich February 26, 2012, 8:04 pm

    Thank you for this post.
    I’m looking forward to the SF card, although at this point it does not look like any of the sports bars in my area have Showtime. I’d be happy with either one taking the win, but I would like the fight to go longer than one round…