What’s next for Ronda Rousey? Just stop with the stupid questions.

Will Ronda Rousey retire? Is she a sore loser? Inflammatory questions instantly swirled on social media just seconds after her 48 second fight with Amanda Nunes came to a brutal end.

People from the peanut gallery – folks who’ve never really succeeded at much in their lives asked – is Ronda ready to retire? Scratch that. They weren’t asking; they were telling her it was time to retire.

It’s over for Ronda! the media screamed.

She was distracted. Hollywood got to her. Fame. She’s not humble enough! they pointed out. That must have been it.

Some were rooting for her comeback. Others couldn’t wait to see her downfall again. Admittedly after a couple glasses of wine, I got the sinking feeling that the hype surrounding her #FeartheReturn campaign was maybe just that – hype.

Nunes had an unmatched intensity about her.

I said out loud, “She won’t even look at her!” I knew in that moment – the woman who dubbed herself the lioness was unstoppable. Not because of her skill or technique – although I’m sure that had something to do with it – it was her visible confidence.

Penetrating.

Every moment of the 48 second knockout was exhillarating. Watching men fight? Gruesome. And quite frankly, boring. Watching women? Fascinating.

Women aren’t supposed to knock each other out, but Ronda Rousey made fighting a woman feel empowering. It may be a strange word to use, but something about women now having a seat at the UFC table is empowering.

We really can be and do anything. Ronda proved that by dominating a male sport.

And now everybody is telling her to piss off. Oh I get how this works – when women lose, we’re told it’s over – you’re washed up, and no good to the world anymore.

We knew you’d fail. You loser!

What kind of message are we sending to ourselves? What kind of stereotypes are we perpetuating when we revel in her loss?

You can say that you would have done better. I doubt it.

It was Ronda’s demeanor – her attitude about her ability, the belief that she was the best – that got her to where she is today.

You may have wished she was more gracious. More lady like maybe? You call it sportsmanship. I call it a double standard.

And her loss? Sucks.

But Ronda Rousey is more than just her sporting accomplishments. Her so-called cocky attitude reminds me of some of the greatest male athletes we see today. Her powerful posture is what makes her great. It’s what some call a lack of humility, but I disagree.

Thanks to Ronda – we as women – can give ourselves permission to walk with undeniable confidence, unapologetic about our own success. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of playing small. Tired of dimming my light to make others feel comfortable.

Ronda broke barriers, shook up stereotypes – making physical strength beautiful and acceptable. She made being supremely self-assured OKAY.

So before you hate on her – before you dismiss her career, think about this:

“Before Ronda Rousey, there was no limelight for women’s MMA. Women fought in the shadows of the UFC. She is a pioneer who has paved the way for millions of women to follow their dreams and deserves our respect.” – Jiu-Jitsu Times

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