In the eyes of Dana White, Ronda Rousey can do no wrong. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
It’s no secret that Dana White is a big Ronda Rousey supporter. On Friday, he took his praise for the UFC women’s bantamweight queen to a new level.
“Ronda is a different animal, man. She is f--king fascinating. She is the greatest athlete I have ever worked with, on every level,” White said during a media scrum in Ireland. “Everybody always talks about how I am always ‘Ronda this and Ronda that’ -- it’s hard not to ‘Ronda this and Ronda that’ when you deal with her.”
According to White, it is Rousey’s willingness to push through injury and make sacrifices on behalf of her employer that elevates her to the top spot in his list of fighters he has worked with, over and above famously cooperative stars such as Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes.
“She just had knee surgery and got her hand casted, [yet] she is going to China with me. Then she is going down to Brazil, and then she’s promoting a bunch of movies and all that stuff. The girl never stops. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
“How about this? She got an ESPY and opted to get her surgeries instead, get them done and get them healed faster instead of showing up and doing the ESPY thing; 2.2 million people were watching the ESPYs to see Ronda win. Which is like the Oscars, winning Best Actress.”
UFC fighters don’t always put the interests of the organization first. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson famously fell into conflict with the UFC by deciding to pursue a personal opportunity.
Jackson withdrew from a spot on a UFC card in Memphis to take a role in The A-Team movie several years ago. Rousey has also taken movie roles, but according to White has always worked with the UFC to accommodate schedules and minimize impact on her fighting career.
White has talked before of fighters having only a small window of time in which to squeeze maximum value from their careers. Rousey has apparently taken that to heart.
“Nobody gets it like she does,” he said, shaking his head in wonder. “And believe me, she is making a lot of money.”