Thirty nine seconds is all it took for Ronda Rousey to put her career on the fast track to a women’s title in Strikeforce. Once she submitted Julia Budd, she got the call to fight Miesha Tate on March 3, 2012 for the Women’s Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship. But there hasn’t been any hype, talk, or even MMA fights that have yet to make Ronda sweat. Ronda talked to the MMA Fight Corner on Wednesday night about the sudden rise to the top and how she’s handling the spotlight.
“I think it’s impossible for other people to really put pressure on you. You accept that pressure and you put it on yourself.” She added, “I feel like going through two Olympics teaches that to me. And I feel like that, you know that I know enough to be able to handle it. Luckily, I’ve always been one of those competitors that’s always fought above themselves under pressure, instead of buckling under pressure.” Put it on the record that no one has been able to get past the first minute of round one versus Rousey and her highlight reel arm bars. That doesn’t bode well for Tate, especially when Rousey promises that “March third I’m going to be at my absolute peak of what I’ve ever been.”
Some have argued that Sarah Kaufman has been passed over for her opportunity to fight for the title. But, whether or not you agree that Ronda Rousey deserves to take on Miesha Tate for the Women’s Bantamweight title, she’s got the right mentality about facing her opponent: “People can have their opinion and think that they’re giving me the title shot too fast, but the thing is if they’re right, then I’ll lose right away; and they can, you know, sit at home, and feel smug and good about it. But I feel like I deserve this title shot because these other girls, I mean to be honest, they’re numerical record are much more impressive than they’re actual fights. Whereas I feel like my performances speak for themselves. If I’m right, I win. If I’m wrong, I’ll lose. That’s the cool thing about MMA.”
Rousey who normally fights at 145 hasn’t had any problems dropping down to 135. She admits the diet has been working for her and it’s helped her arthritis in her knees from bothering so much. In fact, she hinted that the move could be permanent.
In addition to her weight class switch, she talked a little about Cris Cyborg and the steroid scandal that has rocked women’s MMA. Rousey said using steroids in the cage, “It’s like you’re walking into a ring with a weapon. If you take steroids and you play baseball, you can hit the ball farther than the other guy I mean that sucks that’s unfair but nobody actually gets hurt by it…in the ring you could actually crush somebody’s skull in and kill them. You can’t really judge the safety of fighting accurately if people are artificially making themselves stronger.”
And as far as her newfound popularity as MMA’s “It” girl, Rousey says she’s in no way looking to replace Gina Carano as the role model for female fighters. “Gina’s a pioneer for all of us. I wouldn’t be fighting if it wasn’t for her. She made it easier for all of us. Any girl that isn’t grateful to her is stupid.” While Rousey says it’s totally Gina’s decision to come back, she thinks a fight against the Gina would be awesome. “I would love to fight her one day..but if she doesn’t come back I won’t fault her for it.”