Every cause has its effect, and every effect has its cause.
The law of cause and effect is all pervasive in our daily lives, both on an individual and collective level (microcosm and macrocosm), and we are all bound by it.
Cause and effect, like the law of gravity or the law of thermodynamics, is immutable and impersonal. These deterministic laws govern our universe and we can either choose, via our own free will, to work in accordance with them or against them.
If for example, we decided to work against the law of gravity on this earthly plane by believing that our human bodies could fly, the consequences would be devastating. Instead, we recognize the law and choose to work in harmony with it, thus manifesting the best possible results.
Similarly, we can either recognize that our behaviour and action in the world produces causes and effects, or remain in a state of ignorance and suffer the consequences.
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas.
Our lives are shaped by the decisions we make on a daily basis and the quality of our interactions with others and the environment. If we make poor decisions, we will, in all likelihood, live a poor life. If an individual, for example, chooses to drink excessive amounts of alcohol due to some unresolved trauma (cause), they will suffer the consequences and see a deterioration in both physical and mental health (effect).
If we, on a macrocosmic scale, continue to see ourselves as separate from one another and believe that certain groups of people are superior to others (cause), we will continue to wage war, plunder the planet of resources and eventually, self-destruct (effect).
Ronda Rousey's spectacular fall from grace, which saw the former Olympian lose her bantamweight title and suffer two devastating TKO losses, is the result of a series of causes and effects.
Heading into to her 7th title defense against ex-professional boxing champion Holly Holm at UFC 193, 'Rowdy' believed that she was untouchable. The women's MMA pioneer had starched all but one of her opponents in the first round, and her reign of terror looked to be unstoppable.
Rousey, 29, approached all of her fights with the same formula: A linear, bull-rushing attack which usually resulted in a takedown and eventual armbar submission. If that didn't happen, Rousey would rough her opponent up in the clinch and score a KO, ala Bethe Correia.
When Rousey applied those same rigid mechanics against 'The Preacher's Daughter,' however, the Glendale Fighting Club representative bull-rushed into every counter her opponent threw. Holm presented a problem that Rousey hadn't needed to address in the past (footwork and distance control), and she found herself dumbfounded when her usual go-to formula didn't work.
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor was in a similar situation against Nate Diaz at UFC 196: The Irishman had continuously finished some of the best competitors in the world with the same weapon — a missile-like left hand — and expected to finish Diaz with the same tool. Like Rousey, when McGregor's go-to mechanics failed, he immediately panicked and found himself prey to his opponent's strengths. After exhausting himself with a series of overextended left hands, 'The Notorious' succumbed to a rear-naked choke in the second round, similar to how Rousey had crumpled to a left high kick in the same round against Holm.
Here we see the law of cause and effect in operation. Rousey, fuelled by the sensationalism and propaganda of the mainstream media, developed a false sense of self-worth. After being propped up as a once in a lifetime athlete and hyped as a woman capable of beating boxing great Floyd Mayweather, Rousey — simply put — began to believe her own bullshit.
It is this belief (cause) that led to stagnation in the training room — repeating the same formula with the same mechanics — which, in turn, produced the devastating effects at UFC 193.
Rousey's loss to Holm set off another chain of causes that ultimately led to the same undesirable effects.
After losing to Holm, Rousey shut out the MMA media for an entire year and refused to acknowledge where things went wrong publicly. The former champion retreated into privacy and detached herself from the outside world and all its criticisms.
It is this refusal to address the negative (cause) which ultimately led to an even bigger beatdown against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 (effect). The heavy-handed Nunes blasted Rousey with a series of punches from the opening bell, earning the TKO stoppage just 48 seconds into the opening round.
When we refuse to acknowledge the negative and carry on living — or, in Rousey's case, training — in the same routine, we only give more power to it. If you, for example, ignore the early symptoms of disease and don't seek medical attention, the disease will spread, and you could die. To change the effects, which only manifest in the physical world, we must first diagnose and look at the root causes of our problem.
Acknowledging our own weaknesses is necessary for growth, and it is Rousey's inability to do so which has produced such catastrophic physical results in the Octagon.
In contrast, after McGregor's loss to Diaz last year, the SBG Ireland product immediately began to analyze where things went wrong and embraced a different training regime and routine heading into his welterweight rematch at UFC 202.
We saw a different result.
McGregor, a former two-weight world champ, was much more efficient with his energy and managed to go the full five rounds against a tough and resilient Nate Diaz, picking up a majority decision win.
Rousey, though, seems destined for more hardship. After her most recent TKO loss to Nunes, she immediately left the Octagon and refused to conduct any post-fight interviews to address where things went wrong. Her rejection of the public limelight, which she was once the centre of attention of, is indicative of her own inner denial.
Rousey possesses all of the physical tools to turn her career around and reclaim the women's bantamweight throne, but she must first change her own ideas and mindset in order to manifest better results in the physical world.
Refusing to do so will ultimately lead to the same effects and, Rousey, like all of us, is subject to the same immutable laws that govern our behavior, 24/7.