At UFC 168, Ronda Rousey took the final step of her role as the current heel of the UFC by refusing to shake Miesha Tate‘s hand following their championship bout. Rousey had started down this path during the filming of season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter when she was portrayed as being overly aggressive.
However, her overarching reason as to why she didn’t shake Tate’s hand was because her opponent “disrespected her family.” This traces the whole issue to the fact that despite claiming she has respect for Tate, Rousey still has bitterness towards her. This bitterness is one of several factors not only hurting Rousey’s image, but her as a whole.
Another overarching factor that is hurting Rousey overall is her bitterness coupled with her personality quirks. During the filming it became obvious that Rousey takes many things on a personal level. One of those were simply Tate’s behavior in celebrating training partner Julianna Pena‘s victory over Team Rousey’s Shayna Baszler.
In addition Rousey took the loss personally resulting in her making a remark towards Tate that she would avenge Baszler in their rematch. Then there were the issues with Team Tate during a training session and their banter at UFC viewing parties, and several other examples of Rousey letting her bitterness and personality quirks get the best of her.
All of these events have painted Rousey in a negative image when in reality she is a genuinely nice person. Interviews for her UFC Primetime leading up to her match with Liz Carmouche portrayed her trying to be a positive role model for her sister and laughing a lot.
Even during the filming of TUF 18 when not squabbling with Tate, she was a nice person towards both her team and even members of Team Tate. Also videos of her photo shoot with upcoming opponent Sarah McMann portray the two as joking around. Clearly she doesn’t hate every opponent.
The overall fact of the matter is that Rousey should find a way to let go of her bitterness with Tate as it will allow her to relax around her longtime rival. However, it doesn’t look like she’ll be doing that anytime soon as she’s been quoted as saying that she embraces her role as UFC heel.
In fact her nickname “Rowdy” comes from Rowdy Roddy Piper who made a name for himself as a pro wrestling heel. While this persona may benefit her in the present, the question is whether it’ll benefit her in the long term. Time will tell if her bitterness wins out.