No matter how extreme her social media presence may be, Tara LaRosa accomplished exactly what she set out to do and is coming back for more.
New Jersey’s own Tara LaRosa has made quite the name for herself in recent years. After putting together one of the most impressive careers in early women’s MMA, LaRosa put the gloves away and has made one hell of a name for herself on social media, usually getting plenty of attention along the way.
But LaRosa assures everybody they can be as mad at her as they want; she’s the same person she was when she was the WMMA industry darling.
“I used to be the good guy and then I guess people decided because I’m a Trump supporter that I’m a bad guy,” LaRosa said. “But I haven’t changed; that’s their problem, not mine. I’m the same person I’ve always been.”
In a sport centered around building fights and self-promotion, LaRosa is in a prime position to cash in on being the ultimate heel in women’s MMA. Everything that Colby Covington wants us to believe he is, LaRosa is.
Even with her position to build fights in mind, LaRosa says she has no interest in being the bad guy for marketing purposes. She wishes people would leave politics out of sports.
“If you think back to the earliest Olympics, the very first Olympics was ever done back in Athens, Greece,” LaRosa explained. “Warring countries and factions stopped to have the Olympics and come together in sport and competition like that. Throughout history, even in war times, people still sent their representatives from their country and it has always kind of been like a safe space. It transcended politics or whatever was going on.”
While there’s no shortage of countries being represented in the Olympics today, LaRosa’s larger point of the most politically charged climate in recent memory is one that can’t be disputed.
In a country where few, if any, people haven’t taken a side on every hot button issue under the sun, LaRosa politely points out that her ideology doesn’t stray that far from the viewpoints of the people who see her as an enemy today.
“My whole goal in MMA coming up and being involved in the sport from very early on was to make sure that women were represented professionally,” LaRosa said. “My dream was to listen to people like a fly on the wall, listening to people talk about the sport and talk about the female fighters the same way they would talk about the men. ‘Oh damn! I bet her standup could beat her ground game!’ Or, ‘Dude! Her wrestling is so good. I think that’s going to negate her Jiu-Jitsu!’ That was my dream to hear people discuss women’s MMA the same way they would discuss the men. Technically, and compare/contrast their skills, skillset, athleticism and what they brought to the fight, not based on whether they’re hot or not.”
Tara LaRosa asked for @AlanaFeral this event. With no response from the controversial Oregonian, LaRosa welcomed all comers to the cage for her return!— Submission Underground (@SUG_Grappling) October 26, 2021
Juliana "Killer" Miller is an underdog on paper not to be underestimated! This is a scrappy match to watch on Sunday at SUG 28 pic.twitter.com/7MhR8RcZ3r
In 2015, LaRosa retired from professional MMA. When she could look around and see that her goal had largely been accomplished, she felt her work was done.
When she fought her first fight in 2002 it seemed like an impossible task, and sure enough she made it. We made it. She never won a UFC title, even a UFC fight, but she could ride off into the sunset knowing that whether she had to travel to Florida, Indiana, Costa Rica, Japan or Atlantic City, a female fighter with like-minded hopes and dreams in MMA always had an equally game opponent.
LaRosa has officially had enough of the sidelines. At 43 years old she’s ready for a full MMA comeback. After a rocky return to the gym, LaRosa was finally in fight shape when she suffered an injury that pushed the full contact date back.
Thankfully for LaRosa, there’s newfound opportunities in BJJ.
“There’s something to do every weekend and everybody’s all excited about Gordon Ryan, the Misha kid and these people. The Danaher Death Squad, I’m just learning about this and I’m like, ‘Oh! This is a spectator sport now. This is a thing. Well s***, that’s what I’m good at. That’s what I do!’” LaRosa said with excitement. “I was always known for jiu-jitsu. I also came from judo, too, so that’s my base.”
SUG 28 is live on @UFCFightPass for a special Halloween event October 31st!— Submission Underground (@SUG_Grappling) October 19, 2021
Headlined by SUG ninja Andy Varela welcoming the incredibly talented Haisam Rida...who wins this???
Undefeated Aaron Tiegs found his gi match with a major opponent: @BombaTUF, in the co-main. pic.twitter.com/JXrqJIAna8
Will we find out at Submission Underground 28 if 43-year-old Tara LaRosa is a grappler instead of a fighter? Will she begin to embrace her opportunities to capitalize on her image?
If she had her way, no. Because to LaRosa, she’s none of those things and all of those things at once. She’s an MMA pioneer who never lost herself along the way.
“There’s a lot of things people would be surprised to know about me,” LaRosa said. “I’m not a radical right-winger, I don’t even know what you call it. I’m not left, I’m not right, I’m not Republican, I’m not Democrat, I’m Tara m***********g LaRosa. That’s me. I’m not any of the s***. I’m in my own category.”
Catch the return of Tara LaRosa as she takes on Juliana “Killer” Miller at Submission Underground 28. The action comes your way LIVE! Sunday, October 31, at 3 pm PT, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!