UFC 168 is a little more than a week away, and with the December 28th showdown date between women’s arch rivals Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate fast approaching, the media frenzy for the Las Vegas card is now in full swing.
At a media event yesterday, the bantamweight’s women’s champion sat down with MMAHEAT.com’s Karyn Bryant and gave her thoughts on the fight, her opponent, “The Ultimate Fighter” season 18, and her division.
As usual and when not around her nemesis, Rousey was upbeat, smiling, happy and generally looking forward to her upcoming bout.
As “Rowdy” said of her mood, “I’m generally in a good mood, it’s just when I’m around her (Miesha Tate), ya know; I’m in that aggression mode and I can’t fake being in a good mood; sorry.”
To that point, Rousey believes Tate is nothing but fake. As the champ sees it, “She’s very conscious of how she comes off and I’m very conscious of just my goals and morals.”
However, Rousey followed the statement up by acknowledging that she had taken the “hit” on TUF 18 and purposefully played the “bad guy”, for the sake of the girls on her team.
As Rousey put it, “If you saw the Batman where he had to make Aaron Eckhart look like the good guy and then himself look like the bad guy, because that’s what Gotham city needed, ya know. The women’s division is Gotham City and I am Batman, and Miesha is Scarface.”
In reflecting upon her statement, it seems to be a conscious decision to have played the bad guy and as such, appears to fly in the face of her previous statement, which is that Tate is conscious of how she comes across, where Rousey is stating that she’s only worried about her goals and morals. On the face of it, the two statements appear to be in conflict with one another.
Beyond the champ’s obvious dislike for Tate, the conversation shifted to Rousey’s string of armbar wins and whether or not she’ll be looking to finish “Cupcake” by something other than an armbar.
To that Rowdy stated that she tries to win “the quickest and most efficient way possible.” That, her reputation for the armbar began in Judo and as such, other fighters began to become so wary of it that they’d end up leaving her other openings. As Rousey sees it, Tate may end up falling prey to some other finish and as a result of being overly concerned about the champ’s armbar.
Sadly for Tate’s fans, that’s something that must be considered. That if she focuses too much on Rousey’s particular strength, that she may leave herself open to being submitted or finished in some other manner. On this subject, it will be interesting to see how Tate avoids Rousey’s go-to move, yet at the same time remains aware of Ronda’s other threats.
In viewing Rousey, fans will most likely come to the conclusion that the champ is ready for the best version of Cupcake that Tate can muster, and that she is truly unconcerned about the challenge. Beyond that, the champ appears to be in great spirits and seems to have comfortably settled into her role as villain.
Regarding her “black hat” status, fans are likely to conclude that she wears the role very well and that her surly, cocky, confident attitude has been a positive thing for women’s MMA and the promotion as a whole. As fans love to hate her and as she has elected to play the role of bad girl, it seems to be a win / win situation all way round.
As a side note to her chosen Batman role, it should be noted that in watching Ronda in this interview that it’s pretty hard to hate her. As such, hating her MMA character is all just a bit of fun and not a reflection on her true personality. In short, where she might play at being a bad person, it’s all just a lark and her actions, particularly on TUF 18, should be taken with a grain of salt.