UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey finally put her drawn-out rivalry with Miesha Tate to bed in the co-main event of UFC 168, submitting her archrival with an impressive third round armbar. After the fight, Rousey continued to draw criticism for her attitude by not shaking Tate’s hand when offered.
It was just the latest in a series of events that have lead many fans to stray from “Rowdy’s” side due to her seemingly polarizing and mean-spirited behavior. The undefeated Rousey is now to set to face off with fellow Olympian Sara McMann in the main event of February 22’s UFC 170. A media luncheon was held for the event yesterday, and our friends at MMA H.E.A.T. were on hand to discuss the still-lingering topic of the Tate fight with the champ:
“It was relieving to such a point that everybody booing didn’t really get to me. I kind of put wins away really quick, I don’t really revel in it that much, ya know? I kind of just take a week to sit down and have nothing to worry about. I was proud of how I felt, like, endurance-wise. I felt like my pace stayed the same throughout all three rounds, and I didn’t feel like I needed to slow down at all.”
Her rematch with Tate was Rousey’s longest-lasting fight, but in the end the result was the same. After the fight the boos began when Tate extended her hand, but Rousey spoke up to clarify her belief that Tate’s offer was far from genuine:
“Miesha is the type, where when she reached out to shake my hand after that fight, she wouldn’t have done that if it was just us in a gym, like, you know, alone. That was an action influenced by being watched. Me not shaking her hand was an action despite being watched. The kind of private apology that I would be asking for is the kind of apology that wouldn’t be watched. An apology with an incentive is bulls—. And I have no tolerance for bulls— or bulls— apologies, and that’s all they have to offer.”
Ouch. Rousey was indeed criticized for her decision to snub Tate, but she did stand by her convictions that stemmed from TUF 18, where Rousey deemed her team “Team Real Mean” and Tate’s “Team Fake Nice.” She obviously thinks that newly minted fan favorite Tate is putting forth a public face that is far different from her true self. A strange incident involving Tate and a gas station attendant may be cause to believe Rousey on that front, but that’s neither here nor there.
The champ moved then on to discuss her upcoming bout with a top-level grappler like McMann:
“I think it really makes this an interesting fight. Our pedigrees outside of MMA are so similar, like a lot of people, like my last fights, the girls would have more MMA experience than me, but they wouldn’t have as much competition experience as me and this is the first time where I’m fighting somebody and she’s fighting somebody that is so similar. We both have relatively few years in MMA, we both have so many years in competition.”
“And so when that was exposed as being an advantage, because it really is, we’re both undefeated and having more MMA experience didn’t really outweigh having more athletic competition with the girls so far. That’s what’s really shown so far with our records, so eliminating that advantage, there’s much more wonder there. Once you get rid of that discrepancy and athletic caliber, it really comes down to who’s the better mixed martial artist, and I think that’s what makes this fight really interesting.”
Rousey makes a good point by stating that her and McMann’s years of top-flight athletic experience has translated into success in the cage, because it obviously has. With both athletes being undefeated Olympic medalists, Rousey may be in for the toughest test of her relatively young mixed martial arts career.
Check out Rousey’s full scrum below, where she jokes about having 57 of Fedor Emelianenko’s babies: