Bjorn Rebney: Characterizing Ronda Rousey as the biggest star in MMA is disrespectful and disingenuous

USA TODAY Sports

In addition, Rebney labels Rousey's rise to stardom as "forced marketing."

Bellator head cheese Bjorn Rebney has a lot of respect for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Not just for her accomplishments inside the Octagon, but also for her accolades in amateur competition, including her Olympic medal.

But for UFC President Dana White to call "Rowdy" the biggest star in the entire sport of mixed martial arts (MMA)?

Rebney (via MMA Junkie) isn't buying it:

"I would never want to verbalize disrespect for a fighter ... but to characterize her as the biggest star in MMA is, I believe, a little disrespectful to a lot of fighters who have put in year after year after year in this game. If Ronda fights ‘Cyborg' and she could beat ‘Cyborg,' I think that would be a big statement as to where she is in the game. But to characterize her as the biggest star is a bit disingenuous. I think there are a lot of huge stars in MMA."

The UFC 175 co-headliner may not be the biggest overall, but there is a pretty strong argument that Rousey -- who blows Brock Lesnar out of the water in terms of media attention -- is the biggest female star in MMA.

In addition to her perfect 9-0 record, which includes eight submissions and one technical knockout, "Rowdy" is also a bona fide box office draw, one with enough star power to catch the eye of Hollywood. Rousey is currently finishing up her duties on this major motion picture.

But if she's not the biggest, then who is?

Let's get some opinions on this matter, fight fans, and Georges St. Pierre doesn't count, since he's off doing his own thing until further notice.

What say you?

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