OF MATCH UPS AND POLITICS
Ross Perot, successful businessman who unsuccessfully ran for President twice, offered this classic line about politics. “War has rules, mud wrestling has rules, politics has no rules.” That evergreen line flashes across the screen to begin the recently released movie The Campaign.
In a week where Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller won his MMA debut with a second round TKO, there was more politicking than usual going on in the sport.
Even Miller, son of former Nevada governor Bob, who obviously knows some things about wheeling and dealing outside the ring, might be enjoying the posturing of the two best female fighters on the planet who began their campaigns this week to square off, in their own terms of course.
Ronda Rousey on Inside MMA declared she is the undefeated champ at 135 pounds in Strikeforce and has a clean slate on another subject, therefore she will be glad to defend her belt against the woman who is serving time off for steroid use, Cris “Cyborg” Santos when her sentence is lifted at the first of 2013.
Rousey handled the matter with her normal flair and aplomb, her stance is as strong as her prolific arm bar submissions. There is no stain on her perfection, no hints, allegations, innuendos, all the usual political stuff that could come back to haunt her on the trail to the ultimate women’s match up.
Santos responded with a lengthy five paragraph statement the kind an adept politico would appreciate, noting that she would–in bravado campaign style–“like to set the record straight for the last time.” No doubt words we will hear from the Obama and Romney campaigns at one time or the other in the next months.
Cyborg offered medical reasons that she shouldn’t and wouldn’t come down from her 145 pound division where she reigns. Bringing in these strong examples that “my cardiologist and physician have advised me to make such a drastic reduction in weight could have permanent effects in my long term health.” Talk about getting to the heart of the matter.
Both women cite they have their belts. True. Both claim the other has to make the concession. False. Both attest they are currently the best. Debatable. It’s the greatest square off imaginable, a public relations dream. They are the two best ever. One is the darling of media that has long crossed over from merely the web sites of the sport. The other is an amazing talent with a tarnished history. Validation versus Atonement. Sides have been taken, heroine against villain.
Fans will have to wait another five months to see this unfold as with any aggressively public campaign. The spin zone will become a vortex of opining who makes the best case for what weight they can agree upon. Ultimately this ultimate fight will be determined by Strikeforce and Showtime. No one can lose in what will be the biggest deal in female fighting history.
Money in MMA, as with politics, is the determining factor in match ups. So let the lobbying continue, the bloggers cast their ballots, it will eventually happen regardless. Each candidate knows this is too good to pass up on the match up that could set records. That is the only record to stand on.
Watch Kenny Rice along with Bas Rutten LIVE every Monday night on Inside MMA, and check out Kenny’s new book “Not Hit Yet” an insider look at the MMA world in 2012, available at Amazon now
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