Ufc: Ronda Breaking Ground
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Ronda Rousey: Breaking Ground examines the remarkable rise of the first female champion in UFC history. Using Ronda's lifelong desire to be a superhero as a theme throughout, the program details the childhood trauma and the complicated relationship with her mother that has fueled her athletic endeavors. Featuring interviews with Ronda, her mother, her friends and coaches and UFC President Dana White, it's the first comprehensive analysis of one of professional sports true pioneers.
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Just like previous releases the biography section of this release is around 40 minutes long and to me is the best biography done to date by the UFC. It certainly doesn't hurt as a comic book fan that the running theme throughout the documentary was done as a comic book. The life and career of Rousey fits very well within the 40 minute time frame and is probably one of the best reasons for releasing this documentary as early as they did. The pacing felt just right so it didn't seem like they were attempting to fit too much into the time frame. I'll admit that from the time I was following Rousey back in Strikeforce I've been a fan but much of that was initially based on the similarities I found. Now though, she has proven herself a legitimate champion and it's fun to see how her life has gone through the ups and downs to where it is now. Not only that but the documentary serves as a nice tie-in to how women's MMA has grown to where it is now. I remember watching Gina Carano fight Julie Kedzie back in 2007 during the dark ages of women's MMA thinking how groundbreaking it was and seeing how far it has come in that relatively short time has been amazing.
This is the section of the release that may have suffered points initially but now that I've watched the fights I have to say the bonus section works very well, especially given the fact that the UFC purchased Strikeforce therefore gaining the right to use their footage. The footage of Rousey's amateur fights is largely kept to the documentary but the bonus section thankfully has all but 3 of Rousey's fights up to this point in her career, those being Rousey's professional fights before entering Strikeforce and the rematch between Rousey/Tate. Matches include:
Strikeforce Challengers 18 (8. 12. 2011)
vs. Sarah D'Alelio
Strikeforce Challengers 20 (11. 18. 2011)
vs. Julia Budd
Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey (3. 3. 2012)
vs. Miesha Tate
Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufmann (8. 18. 2012)
vs. Sarah Kaufmann
UFC 157 (2. 23. 2013)
vs. Liz Carmouche
Like I said before, the fight section could have suffered a bit in points but in reality it's actually a good collection. Beyond showcasing Rousey's career there are 2 pivotal fights on the disc for historical reasons. The first fight between Rousey and Tate felt a lot like Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz's first fight in that it was two big personalities colliding for the first time after a lot of heated words and to me this was the fight that took women's MMA to the next level (Just as their rematch did in December). Then of course is the Rousey/Carmouche fight which marks the first women's fight in UFC history, and not only that but it was in the main event of a pay-per-view card. Exceptional bout for both fighters and what incredible energy to begin this division's run. Again, people may criticize the set for the matches but given the short career of Rousey it works very well for me personally.
Overall, I was very happy with this purchase. I find the documentary to be the polished version of what Griffin and Henderson's could have been and the fight selection is great from top to bottom. Honestly, as a fan of Rousey's I know how her personality may rub people the wrong way but I love how honest she is in front of the camera and her fights are almost always exciting. So, if you're a fan of Ronda Rousey (which honestly seems like a necessary prerequisite for a set like this) I would highly recommend that you buy this. If you're not a fan then avoid it.