Ad of the Day: This Chills-Inducing Preview of Ronda Rousey’s Next Bout Is the Best Fight Promo Ever

Charting her collision course with Holly Holm

Headshot of Angela Natividad

It's hard not to root for UFC world champion Ronda Rousey, but a cinematic promo for her next bout might just leave you undecided.

Clocking in at nearly 3 minutes, "Revolution" from production firm Mothership follows the lifelong trajectories of both Rousey and her Nov. 14 challenger, Holly Holm. We see Rousey witness her first judo bout at age 11, while 16-year-old Holm gets her start with her first tentative shots at a punching bag.

The tension—and the music—build as Rousey sharpens her judo chops and Holm becomes a boxing phenom, both slowly finding their calling. In one especially emotional moment, Holm appears in church, pious and peaceful, as neighbors judgmentally gawk at her black eye.

Set to the the rising intensity of string instruments as the women age, strengthen and grow more competitive, body-slamming men and taking serious hits in the ring—including Holm's brutal knockout loss to French boxer  Anne Sophie Mathis, defeated the next year by a resilient Holm. The ad concludes with the phrase "Every revolution begins with a fight" before rolling to a promo shot of their match for the World Bantamweight Championship.

Not all of us follow MMA or boxing, and fewer still follow women's boxing (at least one reason female pros have so much trouble finding sponsors), but we're all familiar with the making-of-a-champion journey ad.

It's a formula that's worked from films like Rocky and Southpaw to some of the most epic spots in advertising history, such as Nike's David Fincher-directed Fate spot.

This one, like Fincher's spot, has a poignant and personal feel. Its resonance doesn't rely on viewers knowing either of the competitors; like a feature film, it takes the time to invest us in each story without shirking either one, or transforming them into tawdry caricatures of an aging champion and a cocky young upstart.

Helping round out the spot's realism is its superb casting, with Rousey's judo instructor mother, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, playing herself and teenage Rousey being played by the fighter's younger sister, Julia De Mars. 

On top of key agony-and-ecstasy moments, "Revolution" also highlights the unique sense of alienation and loneliness women feel when they take up arms in a male-dominated arena. That's a lot to pack into less than three minutes, but here it happens wordlessly and without compromise, carried to climax by a well-chosen soundtrack.

The Rousey and Holm fight goes down Nov. 14 on Pay-Per-View and will mark the seventh consecutive time Rousey's defended her 135-pound title. For once in a critical match, fans might not think there's any harm in rooting for both; what they represent as a pair is stronger than the sum of their hits and misses.


Client: Ultimate Fighting Championship / Zuffa, LLC

President: Dana White 

Chairman & CEO: Lorenzo Fertitta 

Executive Vice President, Production & Operations: Craig Borsari 

Senior Vice President, Production and Programming: Chris Kartzmark 

Production Manager: Laura Gilbert 

Production Company: Mothership Media, Inc.

Director: Neil Huxley 

Vice President | Executive Producer | Advertising & Games: Tiffani Manabat 

Line Producer: Michael Angelos 

Production Supervisor: Ben Oswald 

Asst. Production Supervisor: Adam de Monet 

Production Supervisor: Joe Faulstich Asst. 

Director of Photography: Larkin Seiple 

First AD: Mike Saffie 

Production Designer: Abigail Potter 

Digital Production Company: Digital Domain 3.0, Inc.

Vice President | Executive Producer | Advertising & Games: Tiffani Manabat 

Creative Director: Neil Huxley 

Associate Creative Director: Aaron Shact 

Post Producer: Alex Michael 

Editor: Pedram Torbati 

Board-o-matic Editor: Ryan Todd 

Flame Artist: Andy Davis 

Sound/Music Design: ECHOLAB

Sound Designer/Owner: Gavin Little 

Sound Mixing: Margarita Mix – Santa Monica

Original Track: "Experience" (Ludovico Einaudi, Daniel Hope & I Virtuosi Italiani)

Sound Designer/Mixer: Nathan Dubin 

General Manager: Michele Millard 

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.
Publish date: October 15, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT