She’s perky, she’s beautiful and she’s mean. Ronda Rousey is set to make history on Saturday when she fights Liz Carmouche in UFC 157, but while she’s very aware of the significance of her bout she’s not shying away from letting the world know that she’s the best female fighter in the world.
“It’s fun, but I’m going to sit back and enjoy it after I win,” Rousey told USA Today. “I was expecting it to be a chaotic, circus kind of thing. It met those expectations and a little bit more, but there’s no amount of media, there’s no loss of sleep, there’s nothing that can really save Liz Carmouche from losing to me.”
Rousey is doing more for the UFC’s global exposure in the months since it was announced she’d fight in UFC 157 than any fighter has ever done for the sport before her. MMA is starting to catch on with more and more people as the fights go by but it’s still not widely accepted by everyone as a legitimate professional sport.
The number of people that haven’t signed on with MMA as a sport is on the low end but despite having big names like Brock Lesner and Jon “Bones” Jones come up through the ranks, the UFC hasn’t gotten fair coverage in the sports media. With the arrival of Rousey on the scene, it’s not just the sports media that has now zeroed in on the octagon, as everyone from Rolling Stone to Forbes and even Time Magazine have taken time to talk to Rousey and give the UFC some serious attention and credit.
“I didn’t think it would be this big,” Rousey said. “It’s a little bit surprising.”
UFC president Dana White says that UFC 157 is almost sold out and is expected to bring in more box-office revenue this Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim than when the UFC visited the same venue back in 2011 when a heavyweight title was on the line.
“No fighter has ever fought in the UFC that has had more attention than she has,” White said. “It’s a fact. Honestly, going into it, I didn’t know that would happen. I didn’t know HBO and Time magazine and all these other outlets that never cover us would.”
But while White is fully behind his newest cash-cow, every interview Rousey sits down for is prefaced with the infamous clip of White saying he’d never ever have a female fighter in his promotion. In true Rousey fashion, she follows up every viewing of that clip by saying she doesn’t care and it only makes her even more proud of how far she’s gotten in her career.
“Every interview that I have done leading up to this fight this week, they’ve played that clip,” White told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “After I did my homework and I saw some of these fights and I got into it and I met the girls, it is the right thing to do, and I’m proud to be standing here today announcing that this fight is happening.”