Monday, August 03, 2015

Women Should Play Sports: Ronda & Leticia Bufoni

I thought Rashard Evans made a very perceptive comment pre-fight to UFC 190, Rousey v. Correia; he said it was Ronda's imagination that separated her from the pack. I couldn't agree more. The thing I love about watching her fights -- and the Gracie breakdowns -- is her ability to see two moves ahead, or adjust on the fly, improvise, and pivot to other possibilities. She's like Coltrane, improvising like crazy in a stream of consciousness way, but from an unshakeable bedrock of classic theory. You put elite skill level together with the creativity of a top flight artist and the mental toughness of Godzilla and you have athletes like Muhammad Ali, Rickson Gracie, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Joe Montana, Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax... and Ronda Rousey.

Then there's Leticia Bufoni. Being an LA boy, I couldn't help but be exposed to skateboarding although my first loves were football and basketball. But skating has an element of freedom I admire and the rogue, non-bullshit attitude perhaps best embodied in LA legend Jay Adams. Leticia, I think, reflects that attitude. If it's seemingly at first odd to put Ronda and Leticia together in a post, I thought of it because both possess this quality; they are of course highly accomplished and yet self-possessed. They own themselves before anything and that sets the table not just for themselves, but for anyone searching for meaning in this upside down world. Particularly young women.

That they're both LA girls -- Ronda by birth, Leticia via Brazil -- is just icing on the cake.