Ronda Rousey's knockout defeat at the hands of Holly Holm this past Saturday sent shockwaves through the UFC.
Holm, a 20-1 underdog coming into the fight, stunned the 56,214 fans at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia - and many millions more watching on TV - as she sent Rousey to the ground early in the second round.
Not everyone, though, is convinced that everything was above board inside the Octagon. In fact, former WWE Superstar Taz is certain that the result was "fixed." He explained his reasoning during the most recent edition of his radio show.
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The former WWE, ECW and TNA star is convinced the UFC employed a tried and tested tactic that has been used in pro wrestling for decades:
"Why are some people not seeing this? This has been done in the wrestling industry for years. A guy or girl is going to take a break or go away, or has an injury that they have to tend to, whatever the reasons are, and they’re a champion – you take the championship off of them," he explained.
"You do not want your champion sitting home or making a movie, ‘Roadhouse 2′ or whatever Rousey’s going to do, or just needs a personal break, which she’s earned...
"You don’t want that person sitting home for five, six, seven months with that championship. It's bad for business! Take the Belt off her!"
With Rousey yesterday confirming she still plans to take time off after the unexpected defeat, it is somewhat convenient that the UFC will still be able to call upon their title holder, now Holm, whilst the previous incumbent fulfills Hollywood commitments.
And Taz believes the whole thing was far more than a coincidence:
"I'm telling you right now, that whole series (leading up to the decisive kick), was the work. And I'm not sure who was in on it and who wasn't but I know this much; the ref probably wasn't in on it."
"Maybe he was, I don't know. Rousey was in on it - and again, this is all my opinion. Holm might not have been in on it."
The claim is certainly a stunning one, but, despite the public's penchant for a conspiracy, the ex-WWE wrestler might struggle to find many others backing his theory.
The state of Rousey in the immediate aftermath of the fight, captured in this video, is enough to convince most people that she was well and truly beaten by Holm.
What's more, Rousey's impending break isn't the first time she has pursued other opportunities during her title reign. Why would they all of a sudden need her to vacate the title when they've coped in the past?
It might be fun to suggest Rousey only lost because she, and the UFC, agreed she should. In reality, however, she was simply beaten by the better fighter on the night. Simple as that.
UFC fans: Do any of you believe the result fixed, and will Rousey be able to win back her title? Have your say in the comments below...
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