Can I call you Ronda?
You know what, I've seen what you've done to those who have crossed you and I certainly don't want to end up on your bad side. Let's start this over.
Dear Ms. Rousey,
I'm usually not one to jump in on the "open letter" bandwagon but I can't help myself after last night's (Sat., March 3, 2012) headlining bout at Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey."
I speak for a large majority of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community when I say we love you. Dare I say, we are IN love with you. You wandered into our heart less than one year ago after you submitted your first Strikeforce opponent. Seven months later, we were head over heels infatuated with your "take no prisoners but take all the arms you can" attitude.
It's not because of your looks -- although you are gorgeous -- but more so your attitude when it comes to stepping inside the cage.
You simply do not care about anything except winning.
And man or woman, that is one attitude I can get behind.
Just about everyone -- aside from Greg Jackson and those who train with him -- hates Jon Jones. He's barely into his mid-20s and he's conquered his world. The light heavyweight division is at his feet and once he vanquishes Rashad Evans at UFC 145, there will be no other challenge for him at his weight. A move up to heavyweight will be the only option for "Bones." If he continues the streak he's on now, there's no doubt he will be known as the oft-mentioned "Michael Jordan of MMA." The title has been bestowed to several already such as Georges St. Pierre and Fedor Emelianenko but Jones could easily snatch it from both of them with one or two more wins.
He's a God fearing mama's boy or at least, that's how he portrays himself. For the most part, he's humble and gracious, always giving credit to his trainers and of course, to the man upstairs.
But there are moments, both in and outside the Octagon, which add more than a little doubt to the sincerity of that atitude. Because of these moments, fans call him fake, they say he's phony. There's nothing more that fans hate than a fraud, a pretender, so Jones is almost universally maligned despite being one of the best in the sport they're supporting.
But you? "Rowdy," you shed all pretenses and freely talk trash. You openly talk smack about your opponents in an attempt to get inside their head and also to promote the fight both of you are participating in. Miesha Tate, your opponent (or should I say victim?) last night actually benefited from the constant stream of smack you threw her way. Even though you only had four fights to your name, the main event -- and remember, it was the main event -- was more anticipated than any Strikeforce headliner since Fedor took on Dan Henderson last summer.
And not only that but the fight absolutely delivered. You nearly sunk in an armbar -- your calling card -- a minute into the bout but "Takedown" managed to escape. What followed was a round full of back and forth grappling which culminated in an absolutely brutal submission that seemed to have snapped Tate's limb in two.
Your post-fight interview, a moment where even the most hardened of trash talkers relent and admit everything was done for show, was a breath of fresh air. While you did concede most of your pre-fight banter was for hype, you brought up the too close for comfort staredown at the weigh-ins where the now former champion got in your face and you shoved her back with your forehead.
You said if Tate wanted to act "hard," she shouldn't have started whining afterwards and looking to get you fined. You pulled no punches and you refused to play nice.
What a breath of fresh air you are.
MMA fighters are warriors. Warriors don't glad-hand, warriors don't pretend to care about those they go to battle against. Most who step inside the cage forget this. You don't and hopefully, you never do.
It's what makes you one of the most exciting fighters -- male or female -- in the game today.
MMA fans love you, "Rowdy." You can text us, tweet us, or message us on Facebook whenever you're done with all the mandated post-fight proceedings. But don't call too late, our mom gets mad if the phone rings after 10pm.
Sergio Hernandez and MMA fans across the world