It’s always the champions, the fan favorites, the stars that get the spotlight and the news headlines. However, none of them would exist without as many losers, without foes and opponents. The harder, stronger and resilient the latter, the greater the triumphs and the deeds of the former. Maybe they’ll never achieve glory, but the respect and the acknowledgment of the people who have the privilege to watch them, that will never lack.
Dana White on Tough Women Fighters
Last Saturday night at UFC 193, Valérie Létourneau didn’t win. She lost via unanimous decision against a superior Joanna Jędrzejczyk, nonetheless she showed an unyielding heart.
She absorbed a record of 220 significant strikes, 97 to the head and 70 leg kicks – another UFC record – and she never stepped back. She accepted the center of the Octagon, face to face with the Polish champion.
“At the UFC, we always believed in Valerie,” Dana White commented on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast. “ We thought Valerie was good. Big, strong, 115 pounder for that division, and now she’s at least going to sit in the rankings where she belongs. She wasn’t ranked number 8: she’s better than that, and she proved it.”
She proved it, yes, but at what cost? At the end of the fight, Létourneau had her right eye shut, and her left leg, the target of many of those 70 kicks, was completely tumid. After the event, the president of the UFC paid her a visit at the hospital, where he found her along with Jędrzejczyk and Ronda Rousey. His account speaks volumes about the kind of price an MMA fighter’s life demands.
“I went to the hospital there,” White told. “And I had Joanna Jędrzejczyk there, I had Valerie Létourneau there and I had Ronda Rousey there. I’m walking from room to room going, ‘Jesus Christ, this is a crazy business we’re in, man.’ It’s just so crazy, these girls… even Joanna, as dominant as she was, she was hurt, she broke her hand you know? Valerie Létourneau is – oh my God. Her eye was massive. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen, her eye. It was so bad. So then I’m like, ‘How’s your leg?’ Then she looks at me and pulls the covers over and shows me her leg. I’ve never seen anything like that. It was… I’m telling you, that poor little girl is banged up right now. Joanna’s just a f**king monster. How about she broke her hand and was throwing punches right up until the bell like she didn’t have a broken hand: she is awesome. The women are tougher than the men. Woman have babies for Christ’s sake. They’re way tougher than us. Way tougher than the men.”