In a perfect world, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans would be more like pro wrestling fans.
That's according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight Shayna Baszler, who continually finds herself the target of online haters. While the "Queen of Spades" was representing female fighters long before it ever became a "thing," she doesn't always help her own cause.
In addition to her active social media accounts, which often slam critics on a variety of topics, Baszler (15-9) has yet to win a fight inside the Octagon, going 0-2 (including TUF) and failing to erase her submission loss to Juliana Pena on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18.
But as the grappling guru explained to MMA Fighting, it's not the hate that bugs her, it's the lack of appreciation.
"That's why pro-wrestling fans are awesome. They know that they hate you, they boo you, but they appreciate what you do to let them escape for a couple of hours when they come see you. That's one of those things that has made me a little jaded about MMA and MMA fans is the lack of knowledge of the history of the sport. A prime example that's relevant right now is Mark Coleman. He's a legend, former champion and he's struggling to pay for hip surgery that he likely needed from putting his body on the line for fans every night. [Haters] bothered me at first. But it's almost like it's so much that it doesn't bother me anymore. When you have a leak in your ceiling, that's very annoying and stressful. But if all of a sudden it opens up and 'whoosh' your whole ceiling collapses, there comes a point where you're just like, 'Really? Alright.' It's almost so much that it's funny. But I think what I'm learning is that people are going to find a reason to hate you just because. I've been kind of embracing the fact that I'd rather have them boo and hate and comment on everything to keep us relevant than to have them ignore us. There's a lot of girls in the UFC that are doing a lot of great or horrible things and nobody talks about it because they don't care about them."
Can a "Queen" get some love around these parts?
She certainly won't endear herself to fans -- at least the ones in Brazil -- if she manages to stop Amanda Nunes in their 135-pound showdown this weekend (Sat., March 21, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 62, which takes place inside Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro (more on that fight here).
Will Baszler be able to pick up her first win in hostile territory, or be fed to "Lioness" on FOX Sports 1?
Know the Ledge!