A few weeks ago, undefeated UFC bantamweight champ “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (and her friend and side kick, Marina Shafir) sat down with ESPN’s Allison Glock for an interview. Here are some of the choice highlights from that conversation.
On how bartending prepared her for press obligations:
As a bartender, I am having pretty much the identical conversation over and over all day, but I still have to be present and genuine with every single response and try to get the other person to like me because that’s what gets you tips. And really, how is that different from media? I did an appearance with fans recently, and people were like, “Are you getting tired of this?” And I’m thinking, “No, this is the same as Mother’s Day at Gladstones. Instead of giving out drinks, I’m giving out signed pictures.”
I imagine the number of creepy dudes hitting on her has gone up from Ronda’s days as a bartender, but I bet there’s not a huge difference in terms of ridiculous questions.
AG: Are you fussy about your food when you’re not training?
RR: I try to keep healthy-ish, but I’m so on point when I’m in camp that having a vegetable wrap would actually only be healthy-ish because of the wrap on it.
AG: The wrap is the sin? That’s a lot of sacrifice.
RR: Yeah. Like last night, I got the fried calamari and I took all the bread off before dipping it, and that was my treat. And I had one little rip of the cotton candy because I thought maybe gourmet cotton candy would be different. It wasn’t. And I ate all the raspberries off the desserts. Everyone else had dessert. I ate the raspberries. And I wouldn’t even do that during camp. Let me show you what my training diet looks like. [Takes out her phone, pulls up a sample menu.] Here we go. 8 a.m.: Two teaspoons oat bran, two teaspoons chia seeds, two teaspoons hemp seeds; 10 a.m.: Train; 11:45: Post-exercise smoothie; 12 p.m.: Farmer’s scramble: one whole egg, plus two egg whites, two sides of turkey bacon; 4 p.m.: Snack: one apple, one-fourth cup raw almonds, one-fourth cup raw cashews; 6 p.m.: Train. Post-exercise smoothie, da, da, da. Before bed: Chamomile tea. Everything’s got an hour, an amount, everything.
AG: And you follow it to the letter?
RR: Yeah. And instead of vitamins, I have this giant shake twice a day, so it’s all fresh vegetables and fruits: a whole beet, a whole apple, two carrots, four strawberries, one cup of blueberries, two handfuls of red grapes, one whole lemon, one handful of spinach, one handful of kale, one-fourth handful of parsley, two stalks of celery, two tablespoons of hemp seeds, two tablespoons of chia seeds, one tablespoon of coconut oil, one chard leaf, no stem.
Ronda’s diet sounds terrible. No wonder she binges on Buffalo wings after a win.
AG: Cat person or dog person?
RR: Dog. My dog, Mochi, she changed my life.
AG: In what way?
RR: Knowing I was responsible for another living thing. When I got her, I decided even if I was a loser, my dog didn’t deserve to suffer for it. So though I was bartending and working three jobs, I made sure I woke up extra early in the morning to drive her to doggy day care. The first $35 of my shift went to Mochi. Even when I was eating Top Ramen noodles, I bought her top-shelf dog food because it wasn’t her fault that I was broke. There were times when I lived in my car, and I was like, “I have a dog, I need to …”
AG: You lived in your car?
RR: For a week or so once, yeah, after judo, before MMA. And I realized I couldn’t let that situation ever happen again because what would my dog do? It put pressure on me to succeed when I was responsible for another living thing.
(Brief reminder that Mochi was the ninth best dog in my inaugural (indogural?) fighter’s dog power rankings.)