Former Olympic judoka and the UFC’s first ever Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey may not be defending her title, but she is still defending the sport she loves.
In a scene from the new MMA documentary The Hurt Business, Rousey, alluding to the tragic Aurora movie theater shooting back in 2012, says MMA is “the most responsible outlet” for violence.
“Ignorance is the only real barrier the sport has to overcome. I think a lot of people who are ignorant toward it say it promotes violence when it really is the most responsible outlet for it. It’s human instinct to fight. If you try to suppress it entirely, and put everyone in a bubble-wrapped society, that’s when people end up going nuts and shooting movie theaters. If any of those people that had all of that aggression built up in them had some sort of outlet, I think that we’d have a lot more societal health because of it. It’s not violence for the sake of violence. I mean the word ‘art’ is in it for a reason. When I get in there, yeah, I’m fighting, but really what I’m trying to do is outsmart the other person. It’s a puzzle to be solved. I’m not just going in there and spazzing out and swinging my hands and lifting weights so that I can lift my hands even harder. It’s more mental and tactical than anything else and I think it’s the purest, most beautiful sport in the world.“
MMA was indeed one of the most controversial sports to come out of the twentieth century. Arizona senator and former presidential candidate John McCain once referred to it as “human cockfighting.”
Since then, mixed martial arts has grown in popularity, and its detractors have largely been ignored or silenced.
The Hurt Business will be in theaters on September 29.