Rousey Intends to Become Face of Women’s MMA

By Staff Nov 17, 2011
Ronda Rousey will close out her first year in MMA on Friday when she takes on Julia Budd at Strikeforce Challengers 20.

A bronze medalist in judo at the 2008 Olympics, Rousey has won all three of her bouts by submission in less than a minute each. Already she’s being discussed as a potential star in the sport, and recently she joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss that possibility, her upcoming fight and much more.

On her strategy against Budd: “In my last fight, the armbar that I did, I never practiced it before once in my life. I just came up with it on the spot. I genuinely just improvise when I’m fighting. I can’t really say exactly what is going to happen, but I’m definitely going to try to end the fight as soon as possible.”

On possibly becoming the face of women’s MMA: “I was intending to kind of take on that role from the very beginning. I feel like I’m kind of encouraged that things have been going so smoothly and according to plan, even faster than I originally intended. But it’s not really that much pressure or anything. It really has no comparison to an Olympic Games. … It’s nothing like going through the games, where you have to fly to Washington D.C. and go through processing and then you fly to China and then you sit there in the village with all these people and you wait around for weeks and you go to the opening ceremonies and then you have the fight coming up and you have to fight rapid fire over and over and over again in one day. It all comes down to one day when you’ve been training four years -- that’s pressure. This is kind of like the fun retirement part.”

On the UFC not promoting women’s fights: “I think they’re definitely missing out. I think that they might just need some more convincing. I only have the power to control a very few things, and that’s my own performance and how I try to market myself. I’m doing everything I can to put on some really exciting matches, to the point where people are like, ‘Oh my God, are you watching Showtime tonight? It’s going to be a Ronda Rousey fight. For sure it’s going to be awesome.’ … I want to be one of those fighters that you have to tune in because of them.”

On fighting Sara McMann, an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling: “Since I’m pretty much committed to dropping down to 135 and going for that title after this fight, it’s very likely that me and Sara McMann might meet up pretty soon. We’ll have two Olympic medalists fighting. Two women Olympic medalists fighting for the first time -- that will be real exciting, I think.”

On Cristiane Santos: “I think the best way to go about having a fight between me and her is to make it as big a deal as possible, like a bigger fight than the fight between her and Gina Carano was. … If I can move down and get the 135 belt and be undisputed, the best woman that hasn’t fought Cyborg, then we can have a fight together. Who knows, maybe that can even be the first women’s UFC fight if we build it the right way. … If I fought her and beat her right now, people would be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s crazy,’ but how many would actually tune in to watch that fight? A lot of people would hear about it afterwards, but I kind of want it to be built up so that everyone’s like, ‘Oh my God, I need to see this fight.’”

On Miesha Tate: “She expressed that she was open to fight me, and I’m not open to fight anyone unless I think I’m going to beat their ass; so I assume that she thinks that about me. If you hold the title, you’ve got to take all challengers. I’m down. I think if I could come down and fight her, that would be the first women’s MMA match that would be the two quote-unquote hot chicks fighting. I think that would get a lot of [attention] and I think it would be awesome. I would like to take that fight as soon as possible.”

On whether she cares what other fighters think of her views: “I’m not afraid to accumulate critics. … I don’t know which quote-unquote veterans I’m pissing off, but I’m trying to do whatever I can to make sure all these ladies still have a paycheck a couple of years from now.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:48:13).


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