It was November 22, 1986 when Mike Tyson walked to the ring for his first world title bout. Across the ring stood the overmatched Canadian, Trevor Burbick.
Surrounded by handlers, Tyson was the epitome of fear. A menacing figure, he abandoned the entrance music so commonly used, opting instead for the horrifying sound of dragging chains. There was no robe, no flash, and no pizzazz.
With uncanny speed and ferocious power, Tyson was unstoppable. He owned a shotgun jab which knocked opponents from their feet and followed with a hook which produced devastating results.
On that November night, Tyson knocked out Trevor Burbick in the second round to become the youngest WBC Heavyweight Champion in history.
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It was not Tyson’s speed, power, jab or hook that won him those fights or made him the most destructive figure in combat sports history. It was the aura of invincibility. Opponents knew what he brought to the ring and often played into his hands, often giving up before they entered the ring.
It was only three months after Tyson’s historic victory the most dominating, ferocious, and successful female mixed martial arts fighter of all time was born: Ronda Rousey
You may be questioning what similarities exist between boxing’s bad boy and the face of women’s MMA, but the comparisons are undeniable.
When fight day comes, there are no determined, focused or scary looking fighters than Tyson and Rousey..
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The speed, strength and skill Rousey has shown inside the cage are impressive, to say the very least. No one has come close to touching her inside the cage as she has run through every opponent with complete domination.
After ripping Miesha Tate’s muscles from the bone, there was no remorse. Remorse is weakness and when you are in this game, even the slightest weakness can be fatal.
Like any good story though, every good story needs a villain or perhaps in this case, every good villain needs a hero.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, yet they are two different things with drastically different results. Confidence breeds hard work, determination, and success. Arrogance breeds laziness and failure.
On the fateful night in 1990 when Buster Douglas walked out of Tokyo Dome the undisputed world heavyweight champion, it was not his skill that defeated Mike Tyson. This is not to say Douglas was untalented; rather it was an unmotivated, untrained, arrogant Tyson that gave his aura of invincibility away.
Will Rousey suffer a similar fate? Of course only time can tell.
It is the true greats who keep a level head in times of both success and defeat. When Rousey finally has her aura of invincibility tested, that is when we will find out what she is really made of.
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