Mixed Martial arts (MMA) is a relatively new sport, best known for the UFC fighting network and its distinctive octagon-shaped fighting rings. Recently, women’s MMA fighting has taken center stage in the fighting world, mostly thanks to Olympic fighter Ronda Rousey.
In 2015, the undefeated women’s bantamweight world champion became a media sensation. The press regularly described Rousey using words and phrases like “peerless,” “pound for pound, the best fighter in the world—male or female,” and “a once-in-a-generation athlete.”
Going into her fight against Holly Holm at UFC 193, Rousey was the universal favorite to win the fight. Of course, Rousey is undefeated no more. Not only did she lose — badly — but she was also hospitalized after a brutal total knockout one minute into the second round.
For a fighter used to destroying her opponents in the ring, and for her many fans, it was an upsetting night.
For those who missed the action, sportswriter Brent Rose described Holm’s devastating kick-to-the-jaw that ended the fight like this:
“You’ve seen the kick. We’ve all seen the kick. Left shin meets jaw/neck, and Ronda Rousey is out. It was a brutal, iconic moment, but it’s almost beside the point: Holly Holm was already beating Rousey, and beating her badly. She wasn’t just edging her out; it was total domination from start to finish.”
And already, Holly Holm’s official UFC championship custom printed apparel is for sale. Going into the fight, the world was expecting to see Rousey’s name and championship title on the official Reebok T shirts and gear.
T shirts have been a big part of Western culture since their invention in the 1920s. From Marlon Brando’s iconic white T shirt in “A Streetcar Named Desire” to the traditional Super Bowl winning designs, T shirts represent a $2 billion market.
The new Holm shirts for sale come in a black and white design, and each uses the phrase “The Preacher’s Daughter” to describe the UFC’s unexpected new champion.
As thrilling as the bloodsport was to watch, it’s been a painful comedown for Rousey’s many admirers.
“In truth, it was hard to watch. It wasn’t just the swift violence dealt to someone you thought was invincible, it was the look in her eyes as she awoke and was being told what had happened. It was seeing someone who had built a life, a career, an empire, and a vision of herself as unstoppable and having that taken away in very convincing fashion. It was more than a little heartbreaking,” Rose writes.