In sports, size matters. Taller people generally make better basketball players, smaller people generally make better jockeys, wider people generally make better sumo wrestlers.
But what happens when an athlete has the perfect physical storm of size, strength, speed, and skills . . . but something still gets in the way?
For female athletes, that something is typically breasts. The debate of big boobs as a performance impediment is nothing new: There have been controversies, scientific studies, and of course, feedback from female pro athletes themselves.
The latest woman sports figure to weigh in on the subject is UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who has always been outspoken on the issue.
“The bigger my chest is, the more it gets in the way,” said Rousey in this week’s ESPN The Magazine, “Body Issue”. “It just creates space. It makes me much more efficient if I don’t have so much in the way between me and my opponent.”
Rousey has had a well-publicized history of wardrobe malfunctions in the Octagon, too. Her most famous mishap was at UFC 157 in Anaheim during her first title defense against Liz Carmouche. The Girlrilla had Rousey’s back with a rear naked choke locked in tight, then switched to a brutally-torqued neck crank. To everyone’s surprise, Rowdy was more concerned with a possible nip slip live on PPV.
“When someone’s on your back trying to rip your head off, things tend to slip around a bit,” Rousey said.
As soon as Carmouche was jettisoned to the canvas, Rousey’s first instinct was to readjust her sports bra rather than defend herself. The result was an sharp upkick to her left breast.
“I got kicked straight in the chest right as I was trying to adjust my bra,” Rousey said.
Despite acknowledging the challenges breasts pose her fellow athletes, Rousey still has appreciation for the female form.
“Gina Carano was an amazing fighter, and she had a fantastic rack,” Rousey said of Carano, later adding, “You don’t see big titties in the Olympics, and I think that’s for a reason.”