Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
For most of us that watched Ronda Rousey get upset by Holly Holm during the main event of UFC 193, it appeared that Rousey was simply bested by an opponent that most had underestimated.
Holm went into the bout as a 20-1 underdog against the reigning women’s bantamweight champion, but stunned Rousey and spectators around the world with a left kick to Rousey’s head that gave her the knockout victory.
However, not everything is as it might first appear, at least according to former WWE wrestling great and current host of “The Taz Show, Bodyslams and Beyond” on the Play.it podcast network, housed on CBS’ Radio.com.
Taz wrestled professionally for years in the WWE, ECW and TNA and thanks to his background probably knows a fixed bout – or at least one where the ending is predetermined – when he sees one. Shockingly, that’s exactly what Taz thinks Rousey’s matchup against Holm was in UFC 193: a fix.
On his show this morning Taz broke down the events and some of the circumstances surrounding the fight, including Rousey stating beforehand that she’d be taking some time off after this bout to continue filming her movie among other activities outside of the octagon.
“Why are some people not seeing this?” Taz asked. “This has been done in the wrestling industry for years. A guy or girl is going to take a break or go away, or has an injury that they have to tend to, whatever the reasons are, and they’re a champion – you take the championship off of them. You do not want your champion sitting home or making a movie, ‘Roadhouse 2’ or whatever Rousey’s going to do, or whatever Rousey’s going to do, or just needs a personal break, which she’s earned. This girl’s earned it. But you don’t want that person sitting home for five, six, seven months with that championship. IT’S BAD FOR BUSINESS! TAKE THE BELT OFF HER!”
Taz was also quick to acknowledge what many who watched the fight would surely point to as evidence that the fight wasn’t fixed.
“‘Taz, you’re crazy!,'” Taz said mockingly. “‘I saw her get punched in the face!'”
“Yes, I saw it too,” he admitted. “And many other people on the card got punched in the face, and kicked in the chest, and stomped on the head. And the bulk of all those fights you’re watching are legit, finish and everything, no doubt. But the bigger bouts, just like in boxing, the finish is predetermined.
“Now, here’s the other little catch for you: not each of the fighters is in on the work! Unlike pro wrestling, it’s a shoot. Not each fighter is in on the work. I’m tellin’ ya.”
To further prove his point, Taz broke down exactly how the finale unfolded and why even though it appeared that Rousey was simply knocked out, she was really in on the act.
“If you look at the actual K.O. – now, she did get nailed, Rousey, with several shots before the finish of the fight. Nothing that was like ‘oh my god,’ but she got popped a few times. But if you look at the actual knockout, as Rousey, she went for kind of a lazy punch or something – not lazy but she kind of missed – and as she spun to turn around her back was kind of turned to Holm. And as she slowly turned, a high round kick, I believe it was the left foot, or left leg of Holm, catches Rousey, drops Rousey, and then Holm grounds and pounds for three shots – boom, boom, boom. Ref gets in the middle, fight’s over, new champion Holly Holm.
“I’m telling you right now, that whole series, was the work. And I’m not sure who was in on it and who wasn’t but I know this much: the ref probably wasn’t in on it. Maybe he was I don’t know. Rousey was in on it – and again, this is all my opinion. Holm might not have been in on it.”
Another interesting aspect of the conspiracy theory is that Rousey seemingly predicted the exact way the fight would end weeks earlier. Coincidence?
Feel free to make up your own mind. Was what looked like a knockout of a champion something slightly more sinister? Purists will probably scoff at all of this, but hey, people still question JFK’s assassination, the moon landing and the like, so I’m sure there will be plenty of people ready to jump on the Rousey-Holm conspiracy bandwagon.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for either of his other three teams.