Ronda Rousey’s climb to the top of women’s MMA has been a quick one. But since beating Sarah Kaufman in August, the Strikeforce 135-pound women’s champ has had a chance to slow down. In a recent interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time” show with Bruce Buffer, Rousey reflected on her rise and much more: On whether her mom really woke her in the morning with armbars: “Not every morning. She would jump on me and be like, ‘Always be ready!’ And I would wake up [to an] armbar. She would do that with rear-naked chokes. If I was sitting around the house, she would sneak up behind me and put me in a choke and ‘Always be ready!’ That was like her line. … At first, when you’re a kid, you’re like, ‘My mom’s crazy.’ But now I’m like, ‘Oh, she knew exactly what she was doing because I’m ready all the time.’”
On whether Sara McMann would be a good opponent: “I’m actually extremely interested to see how the fight between her and Liz Carmouche goes. They have very similar styles. I think it’s actually going to be a very good fight. I don’t think people are giving Liz Carmouche enough credit, but marketing-wise, I think Sara is looking the best so far because she’s also an Olympic medalist and she also has an undefeated record right now. I think she’s an amazing fighter and I’ve been really impressed with how she’s doing so far. I’m really looking forward to her Strikeforce debut on November 3.”
On Cat Zingano: “That girl Cat Zingano, I think, is also, I think, undefeated. She took out like an ad in Tapout magazine saying she wants to kick my ass or something like that. She was calling me out. She took out an ad, which I’ve never seen that before. It was very creative on her part.”
On fighters calling her out: “I’m happy that they’re doing it. When I first got started, I couldn’t get any fights at all. I probably had 12 different girls pull out on me. It was a struggle in the beginning. I think my manager actually had to pay a few girls to fight me. My first pro fight, the girl I was fighting was 6-1. It was always hard to find fights, and now all these girls are clamoring for position. Like Marloes Coenen after her last fight was saying, ‘Ronda, I’m coming for you,’ and this Cat girl is taking out ads … . Now it seems like I have several opponents in queue, not to mention [Cristiane Santos]. So yeah, I’m extremely encouraged by how the women’s MMA is looking right now.”
On trashtalking in women’s MMA: “I think it’s just that the women have a lot to prove. A lot of people don’t want them to be there. They don’t think we have a right to be there. I think all of the girls have this chip on their shoulder where they’re there to fight and they’re there to put on a show. They’re not just there to win a match. A lot of these guys, they don’t have to worry. They’re just going in there to win a match and get some wins behind them. [They don’t have to worry] that their whole division might disappear.”
On her current status: “This is the first time I walked out of a fight and didn’t know immediately who I was going to fight right away, and it’s actually kind of nice and refreshing. … Now it’s kind of nice to sit back and be like, ‘OK, you’ve done a lot of the work.’ There’s a lot of work left to do, but I’m actually kind of enjoying it a little bit more now and not already thinking and obsessing over my next opponent. I’m actually able to work on a whole lot of cool new skills that I haven’t really been able to before when I was just specifically training for one person.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 13:13).