In less than a year, Ronda Rousey has captured the attention of mixed martial arts fans from around the world.
She’s rolled off four impressive wins (4-0) and many believe her submission prowess is unstoppable.
The 24-year-old former Olympian won a bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Her mother, Ann Maria DeMars, was a world Judo champion in 1984, so it's safe to say combat sports are in her family’s blood.
With Gina Carano starring in action movies and Cris “Cyborg” Santos on the sidelines contesting a positive test for performance enhancing drugs, Rousey may not only become a champion but she may also have set herself up to be the new face of Women's MMA.
Rousey will face current Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate March 3rd in Columbus, Ohio. The matchup will headline the event airing on Showtime and Tate will put her title on the line.
The pre-fight build up has been different from past women’s bouts as Rousey has unapologetically continued to speak her mind and call-out her opponent.
Fox News Latino spoke with Rousey the other day regarding her upcoming bout, her “trash talk” and her Latino heritage.
[Edited for clarity]
Fox News Latino: Strikeforce, you vs. Miesha Tate, a lot of bad blood. Do you need any other inspiration or is it just that bad right now between you two?
Rousey: I mean, I don’t need any additional inspiration at all to fight. You know? I’m ready for anybody regardless as to what’s going on personally in between me or them. I don’t try harder if I don’t like the person because I’m already trying to fight as hard as possible no matter who it is. I think it’ll probably affect her a lot more because she’s not used to fighting under such a strange situation. She’s never had to deal with up-front confrontations with any other girls she’s fought before where, as you know, I… it doesn’t affect me either way because I’m going to always fight the same.
FNL: How do I say this without sounding like a total jerk? You’d expect this from a Nick Diaz fight but we haven’t really had this smack talk, this type of animosity in a women’s MMA match up. Is that [an honest assessment]?
Rousey: Why would I take offense to you comparing me to Nick Diaz? I think he’s awesome and I think he’s really smart when it comes to the way he markets his fights. And everyone can’t wait to see him fight because they make it personal and they try and make it seem like there’s a reason these people are fighting and that something is going to be resolved from it. I think it makes it much more interesting that there’s a beef between me and Miesha because when do people actually get to fight and settle things in real life anymore? We live in the "United States of sue everyone" and anyone can pretty much say whatever they want to each other and you can’t do anything about it. You know? It’s like being the asshole isn’t illegal and I think everyone likes to see people get in argument and be pissed off with each other and actually duke it out in the end because it’s actually pretty rare these days.
FNL: Are you kind of having fun being the bad guy in this? Do you consider yourself the bad guy in this?
Rousey: I don’t consider myself the bad guy but if people want to see me like that, that's fine. I want everyone to disagree about me, that's the thing. I don’t want everyone to think I suck and I don’t want everyone to like me because if there’s a general consensus, there’s nothing to talk about. I want every single time that my name comes up for it to spark a debate. I want everyone to be “Oh my god I love her” or “oh my god I can’t stand her and I hate her.” That’s the kind of thing that if people really disagree, they’re really going to want to see that fight.
FNL: What do you say to your critics who’ve said you’ve only had 4 bouts and [you shouldn’t be] in a title match up?
Rousey: To all the people that say I don’t really deserve a title shot they should go check the Vegas odds and see that I’m favored almost 4 to 1. If I’m so undeserving to fight this match, then why am I so heavily favored?
FNL: I was talking to your sister [Maria Burns Ortiz, Fox News Latino Contributor and Sports Columnist] and she made it very clear to me you are Latina. A lot of people don’t know that because you have blonde hair. Your sister, she looks Latino and I don’t think it’s bad to say you don’t look as Latino. What is your Latino heritage and how does it play into your life?
Rousey: I’m half Venezuelan; I’m just as Venezuelan as Maria is. It’s kind of weird that in America you are what you look like almost because that’s how people treat you. And when I was younger and we went to Catholic school that was like 99.9% Latino I was really outcast there. I had so much trouble learning to speak English that I never learned to how to speak Spanish. I didn’t learn to speak coherently in English until I was around six years old. So I didn’t look it, I didn’t speak it and I was kind of ostracized from that community a little bit. I think it’s so cool that now people are starting to recognize that yes this is my heritage this is where our family come from. I’m glad to be getting a lot more acceptance as really being a Latina even though I don’t look like it.
For the full unedited interview listen below as Rousey talks about people critical of her brash talk, how her comments are helping the fight and a possible bout with Cris “Cyborg” Santos.
“They’ve been offering me a fight with Cris Cyborg before my first amateur fight,” said Rousey.