Sports

UFC Champ Ronda Rousey Says She Doesn’t Pick Fights, She Solves Them

It has been a good couple of days for fantastic Ronda Rousey quotes. The undefeated UFC women’s bantamweight champion is headlining UFC 184 next Saturday, defending the title against Cat Zingano. Ronda has been making the regular media rounds to hype up the fight, a clash between two unbeaten fighters with 19 wins between them, with only one bout going to the judges.

Speaking with Andy Nesbitt of At the Buzzer, Ronda dismissed the idea of making her fights last longer, since the only time she didn’t end a fight in the first round, one of her sisters got a migraine, another threw up and a third vowed to never watch one of her fights again. When asked if her fight will last more than a minute, Ronda said she doesn’t know, adding “I don’t call fights, I solve them”, which honestly, might be one of the most badass things I’ve heard in a while.

Ronda also spoke with America’s Pregame about the new drug testing policy the UFC announced. Rousey is happy for the new standards, which are in line with the US Anti-Doping policy she’s dealt with while competing in judo since she was 14, adding, “Up until those new developments today, I was under stricter drug testing at 16 than I was for world title fights.”

When asked about Dana White jokingly suggesting that Ronda might have to be matched up with men if she dispatches of Zingano easily, Ronda said:

“I’m definitely making his job a little bit difficult for him. Which, that’s not my job, my job is to go out there and win as quickly and as efficiently as possible, and it’s his job to keep coming up with fights for me.”

Ronda added that Cat Zingano, and the two co-main event fighters, Raquel Pennington and Holly Holm are all credible, potential threats to her title. When asked about possibly becoming the new face of UFC after Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have taken serious hits to their public image after failed drug tests, Rousey said:

“Well, I don’t like giving myself that title. That’s kind of more one that’s nice for other people to give to you, I would never pronounce myself that. But the fact that it’s even being mentioned is extremely encouraging, not just for MMA, but just for pop culture in general, that women are taken so seriously in a combat sport. It’s not like a novelty, it’s not just for looks, it’s for real.”

During her pre-fight media scrum, Ronda made reference to a “mama’s basement blogger” on the UFC 184 conference call who asked if women’s MMA could potentially suffer if PPV buys of the event are low due to both the main event and co-main fights being women’s fight, a first in UFC PPV history. Her response required the “blogger” to be immediately admitted to a local burn ward:

“You even asking the question, it really proves that there ain’t equality for women yet. If they put up a men’s 125-pound main and co-main event, people wouldn’t be asking the question, ‘Oh, if this doesn’t sell very well, we might just get rid of the whole men’s division.’ Why are we still even asking this question? Do you remember the last time you asked that question to a guy? You know what, lighter divisions are a turn off for some people, but you don’t ask them about that. Like, ‘Oh, don’t people just want to see heavyweights?’ Your kind of opinion is the thing that we’re trying to change. You are what we need to change about this culture.”

Also during the scrum, Ronda was asked about the class action law suit and fighter pay, which the suit alleges is unfairly being kept low by UFC. Ronda responded:

“I think that they should get paid more than the ring girls. And I don’t know if the ring girls get paid too much or the fighters don’t get paid enough. But yeah. There’s definitely a lot more in what the fighters do than what they do. So, I think that’s one thing that’s unfair.”

Rousey added the difference between UFC and the Olympics:

“I have a comparison with how I was treated as an Olympian to how I’m treated as a UFC fighter and I always feel like I’m just so lucky to work with a company that I feel like actually cares. There’s times where they give me more than they’re contractually obligated to or more than I even expect. That’s why I always trust them so much. Even if they didn’t ever give me anything extra, I would still be happy, because you know what I made an as Olympian? Nothing. It cost me money.

I got my first house, I got a car, what else do I need? I don’t need a private island. My house is paid off. My car is paid off. I just need to buy dog food and pay my taxes and that’s pretty much it. I have no need to want. The only thing I want to do now is fight and they made that possible for me and I’m eternally grateful.”

Obviously, as a consistent headliner and long-time champion, Ronda makes more than the average fighter who gets $8,000 to show up and an extra $8,000 to win. It’s also more than her first UFC challenger, Liz Carmouche, earned, as she used her UFC 157 paycheck to buy a dining room table.

Rousey was also asked about participating in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and how that differs from what the ring girls do:

“Well, no one saw my vagina, there’s one big difference. The agreement that me and my mom came up with was whatever you’re not willing to show in public, you won’t show in a magazine. So, if I’m going to tan on the beach with a top on and my top off face-down, how is that different than anything I’ve shot so far? If they can’t see your cash and prizes, then I’m fine with it. If I’m going to do that on a Saturday, then what’s wrong with me doing it in a magazine? I purposely, any time that I do a shoot that’s aimed for any kind of feminine or sexual purpose, I try to be a little bigger on purpose, just to try and promote a healthier body image. I think that does a lot more to change what women expect from themselves than not doing anything at all and withholding any sexuality at all. I think that changing the kind of media and images directed at men changes what women expect out of themselves.”

I know some people have been a little sour on Ronda in the past for “being mean” to Miesha Tate, but I hope she can get some love for calling out sexist bloggers and trying to improve women’s body issues.

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