Olympic fire burns bright in UFC women's champ Rousey

Andrew Robichaud, TSN.ca Staff
2/13/2014 9:44:24 PM
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Ronda Rousey is not used to showing her soft side.

The UFC women's bantamweight champion is 8-0 in her professional mixed martial arts career, all by way of her trademark submission: a vicious armbar.

The Riverside County, Calif., native usually opens up when her opponent taps out, but another way to get Rousey to release is to mention the Olympics, where she won a bronze medal in women's judo at the 2008 Beijing Games.

"It's one of the things that humanity got right," she said. "The whole world gets together, puts their wars and politics aside, and competes against each other just for sport. It's one of the best ideas we as humans ever had."

Her definition of the Games is not much different than her career now. The UFC roster consists of fighters from over 20 countries, including four former Olympians.

Rousey is gearing up for her title defence at UFC 170 on Feb. 22 against one of those former Olympians, 2004 wrestling silver medallist Sara McMann.

As the Sochi Olympics in Russia approach the end of its first week, the timing of the two events is not lost on the champion.

"It's very intense and very life long and there are so many experiences that go into it that I still don't know how to feel about it," she said. "I get excited and I get nostalgic and I get idealistic … it's just a lot of emotions that come up with every Olympics."

It's been six years since her medal triumph, and although she has little time between defending her bantamweight title and focusing on a budding film career – she'll appear in "The Expendables 3" and "Fast and the Furious 7" in 2014 and 2015, respectively – Rousey says she wouldn't pass up the opportunity to attend the Games as a spectator in the future.

However, rich in competitive spirit, she's more likely to attend as a participant rather than to watch.

"You never know, I might show up as a boxer one day."

Ronda Rousey (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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