Fickle fans – the Ronda Rousey syndrome

fickle fans

Bieber’s reaction to Ronda Rousey’s TKO loss to Amanada Nunes. If Beiber was fighting, our money would be on either lady 1st round KO.

Fickle fans vs True fans

By now, everyone should have watched or be aware of Ronda Rousey’s TKO loss 48 seconds into the first round on New Year’s eve. And unless you’re on an island without Wi-Fi or mobile data (which makes it hard to read this), you probably would have caught some of the mean tweets and storm on social media which followed.

Some of them were downright mean (Bieber, we’re looking at you). Others sounded broken-hearted. And then some, (like Nune’s twitter) let their picture do the talking.

Despite being the Golden Girl of MMA, Rousey had her fair share of detractors. She was the girl everybody either loved, or loved to hate.  Her charisma was undeniable. And she had some serious talent. But her confidence also  distanced her from many, who thought she was arrogant.

But we bet US$3,000,000* that she had more fans last year than she has coming into 2017.
*Ronda’s supposed purse for her recent fight

We’ve written about losing your Muay Thai fight, and how you can handle it positively and grow from it.  But sometimes it’s the people around it who can’t handle your loss. And no matter how confident or positive you try to be, it’s hard to not let that affect your mind and your future performances.

When you’re winning, everybody wants to be your friend. Your family, your gym mates, your colleagues, your class mates, your exes. It’s hard not to feel genuinely touched by all the positivity, fan mail, likes and gifts coming your way. They aren’t just your fans… they are your friends.. aren’t they?


 Fickle Fans When you WIN When you LOSE
Gym Buddies I used to hold pads for him/her and they were a beast! I occasionally got a punch or kick during sparring. You could tell their heart wasn’t in training. They always acted like they were better than the others.
Classmates We used to cut class together and hang out after school. Even back then, I knew they had a talent and would be something special, and that’s why we’ve stayed good friends all this time. They were always a bit weird at school. I felt a bit sorry for him/her so I’d make an effort to be nice to them, but we were never best friends or anything.
Ex You could say they were the love of my life, yeah. We would still be together, except we both had so many things going on, but yeah, if the time and place was right, who knows? We went out a few times, but it was nothing that serious. I told them they weren’t my type, but really, it was only because I was trying to be nice.
Colleagues Even working in retail, you could tell there was a certain x-factor which would draw people to them. I knew it was just a matter of time before something big came calling. Guess you can spot greatness before it happens. I didn’t hate them or anything, but there was something not quite right about them. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it was like they were always making out that they were better than everyone else.

Well at least you can (hopefully) count on your mum having your back. Even though she DID tell you that being punched in the face for a living was a stupid career choice.

fickle fans
I would like to see her retire… I said: ‘You’re smart and beautiful, let the stupid people get punched in the face.’

AnnMaria De Mars Ronda’s mum after her daughter’s recent loss

A true friend, or a loyal fan, won’t drop you after you lose a fight. We’re talking about friends in real life, as well as fans who probably know you via your fight career.

You’d probably have to throw a dozen tantrums and act like a diva, fail a few drug tests and steal someone’s husband / wife for them to desert you. Meanwhile, fickle fans will jump ship at the first sign of weakness and find something brand new and shiny.

So how do you tell the difference between a true fans and  fickle fans? And this applies to both someone starting out in their fight career as well as a veteran in the game.

True friends or fans will stick around through thick and thin.

Fickle fans will drop you like last month’s rarest Pokemon.

A true fan will encourage you right from your first novice fight.

Fickle fans only started appearing on your front row / liking your social media posts, after you won your first belt / got your first KO.

A true fan will give you constructive criticism following a loss or bad time.

Fickle fans will give you unsolicited advice, and back stab you online, or whoever will listen.

fickle fansMost importantly, a true fan won’t give up on you, and will encourage you to be better. And at the end of the day, that can make the difference between walking back into the gym or hanging up your gloves for good You don’t need 10,000 of them, or even 100.

Just a couple of people talking sense can clear the haze and let you see what’s important so you make the decision on your next step.

While you can learn to appreciate or tolerate both types of fans, knowing the difference means you won’t feel despondent to find that after a loss, some of your your “number one fans” have turned into your number one critics.

Many years ago, a group of us were training at 13 Coins in Bangkok, where our favourite Thai fighter Saenchai was fighting out of. A living legend, he was virtually unbeatable, even when matched with the odds stacked against him. So it was a huge shock that the night finished with a controversial loss. Our mood was glum, so we didn’t really notice when one of group slunk away to jump ship.

Last we saw, he was proudly posing for a photo with the winner from the other camp. There always has to be a guy who wanted to be around the champion of that moment.

You can’t always blame the fans for blowing hot and cold. Of course, there are fighters who throughout their career, change their focus or personality to feed their hunger for fame. And while this may not quantity of supporters they have in certainly has an impact on the quality of their fans.

But it a fighter is confident and mature enough to accept a loss, they shouldn’t worry about what their fans think about them? Yes and no. Following a big loss, the final destination of stepping back into the ring is the final step of a long journey. It starts off with showing your face back at the gym again.

How difficult this may be and how long it may take really depends a lot on the events post-fight. Walking into the gym means facing people who know exactly what happened in the fight.

Judging the buzz on your Facebook or Twitter feed, this may be a hair-raising affair, and some fighters may give up training altogether, if they are unable to look their fellow gym mates in the eye.

fickle fans

Replies for “Fickle fans – the Ronda Rousey syndrome”

  • Tom

    Interesting post. I do wonder if this “fickle fan syndrome” is worse for women? I don’t remember Pacquiao fans crapping on him after the Mayweather fight, or even the Horn fight. It will be interesting to see the reactions after the Mayweather McGregor bout too.

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