Dana White On Ronda Rousey: ‘She’s The Greatest Athlete I’ve Ever Worked With’

July 21, 2014
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Ronda Rousey UFC 157 Pre 3UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is a polarizing figure.  You either love her or hate her.  But either way, she’s doesn’t give a damn.

There are stars and there are superstars.  Every now and then an athlete emerges that changes the landscape and image of a sport.  And some athletes transcend their chosen sport and become cultural icons.

In sixteen months and after four fights since being crowned the inaugural female UFC titleholder, Rousey has skyrocketed from former Olympic Judo medalist turned mixed martial artist into an ESPY award winning Hollywood sensation.

“She’s (expletive) fascinating.  She’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever worked with on every level,” said UFC president Dana White while in Dublin for UFC Fight Night 46. (Watch White’s full video interview here.)

“Everybody talks about how I’m always Ronda this and Ronda that.  It’s hard not to be Ronda this and Ronda that when you deal with her,” White added.

Rousey’s drive and work ethic separates her from most. Her attitude, looks and ability to captivate an audience whether in the cage or in interviews makes her unique.  She’s a workaholic and perfectionist and it has paid dividends inside and outside of the Octagon.

“Look at the attention she gets.  We have her doing all this crazy (expletive). She’s going to China in a couple of weeks.  She just hand knee surgery, and she’s got her hand casted.  She’s going to China with me.  She’s got to go down to Brazil and do a bunch of stuff in Brazil.  The girl never stops.  She’s got to promote all of her movies and do all of that stuff.  It’s unbelievable,” said the UFC president.

On Wednesday, Rousey became the first mixed martial artist to win an ESPY award.  She took home the honors of Best Female Athlete.  However, she did not attend the award show so she could heal from knee surgery and a broken hand.

“How about this, she got an ESPY.  She opted to get her surgeries instead, to get them done and healed faster instead of doing the whole ESPY thing,” said White.  “That’s a huge deal… Nobody gets it more than she does.”

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  • TRT-rex

    Big deal. She skipped the ESPYS. No one watches that bs award show anyways. I bet Dana didn’t even watch it

  • George Sperry

    That’s dana talking through his stiffy again.

  • blob

    I can’t see Dana bug Ronda has a huge ass all of a sudden…

  • hyperbole

    The thing is, she does care what people think. She’s always whining about twitter wars or bitching about being disrespected. Kind of a diva. She may be a great athlete, but she’s essentially fighting tomato cans since women’s mma is such a niche sport. Sure, the ufc is signing more women, but so far, they’re thrown to Rhonda in their first few fights. Really, there’s cyborg and Rhonda… And that’s about it. And they aren’t fighting any time soon. I don’t know… If she were a man, I’d think she were a complete douche. She’s hard to like.

    • SorryAboutYourDamnLuck

      Agree with you 100% Its true! i personally think she is fighting tomato cans.. women fighters there aren’t many variety of them. “women’s mma is such a niche sport” people don’t see that, I’d say let it developed in a few years. I do think rhonda has an edge in term in martial arts and fighting, Her mom is a judo master.. her upbringing was nothing BUT SPORTS. It gives her advantage fighting throughout her years in the future.. Not many women have that same luxury or up bringing in life.. I dislike rousey personality, i find her annoying and just boring (Its my opinion lol) On the plus side i personally think it gives a little girls a chance.. perspective thinking like “Oh wow a women doing martial arts? I want to do that to! maybe i can” Eventually we will see a new breed of women fighters.

      • bobacdigital

        She is fighting the best girls they put in front of her… She isn’t fighting CANS lol.. she is fighting the best available fighters in the division sometimes with less than 6 months notice … It isn’t her fault she has a better pedigree than anyone she fights?? I mean Silva / Jon Jones have dispatched of opponents with as much ease as Ronda and no one says they are fighting cans????

        I guess Machida had an advantage over everyone on his undefeated path to the title because his father was a Karate master and all he did was grow up learning martial arts… I guess we can discredit him cause he didnt lose a single fight on his way to the LHW belt.. fighting cans I guess??? Give me a break..

        Just because someone makes it look easy doesnt mean they quality of who they are fighting sux.. Mesha and Mcmann both had been training wrestling since they were kids like Rousey was when she was training judo …

        • TruDat

          Well said. Finally an intelligent response free of hate.

        • Muaythai4life

          While I don’t fault Ronda for fighting who the UFC gives her – it’s not her job to find quality opponents – I think people can be critical of who she has fought for her “best athlete” or even “best female athlete” status. I think Rousey is fantastic at what she does, but to give her P4P status or claim she is the best athlete in the UFC is someone of a huge leap. GSP was the best athlete for a while, till he got boring and retired. Jon Jones was the best athlete till he nearly lost. A. Silva still holds the UFC win record, but Ronda is the best?
          Maybe it’s in Dana’s contract to promote her at least once a month?

        • hyperbole

          So you’re saying the women’s division is full of world class athletes? I don’t see it that way. I’d say the men’s div is that way now. I wouldn’t have said that about the men’s division throughout the 90’s and even the heavyweights a decade ago. It’s not her fault she’s fighting this caliber of fighter… It’s just a testament to the fact that this isn’t a popular women’s sport. Tate and McMahon may have wrestled all their lives, but that’s also in the small world of women’s wrestling. Given a larger pool of women fighters will only improve the quality as a whole. I can’t really be impressed with a big fish in a small pond. My earlier point is that Dana tosses these newcomers to her when he should get their feet wet and create a better division. These girls honestly don’t have many places to go to develop as fighters. But hey, when you’ve got a prized pig/new toy you want to show it off. Only problem is when she cleans out this weak division and leaves after getting bored, the UFC’s women’s div might disappear.

        • Beantown

          And what About Fedor fighting the best when he was in his prime? This is an ongoing fart match and I hate rousey

  • Jeff

    The UFC sucks now and Dana White is Rhonda’s DB… He’s just the White version of Don King..

  • PaulieVegas

    I am so sick of listening to this guy and his constant hyperbole. Every card is the biggest card in UFC history, every main event is the biggest fight in UFC history, Ronda Rousey is the greatest athlete he’s ever seen, blah blah blah… Eventually you lose credibility and no one buys a word your saying.

    We’re only a few years removed from this guy believing wholeheartedly that women’s MMA did not belong in his organization, now a couple of tomato cans get arm-barred and suddenly, the division’s champion is the “greatest athlete he’s ever worked with.” Barf.

  • PaulieVegas

    “How about this, she got an ESPY.” -Dana White

    So did Christian Laettner once, what does that prove?

  • uncle

    Greatest athlete sure, that’s why she needs to be on a stacked card because nobody will buy it.

  • Mikeirish

    ESPY? Sounds like an STD

  • Mark McDowall

    Dana is going to keep shoving Rousey down our throats…just wait until she gets the Carano fight. It will be the biggest fight in UFC history…but will land on probably the most stacked card you will ever see. But according to Dana it will be because of her. Look at the last card she was on…she would have thought that she was the ENTIRE card. Everything was about her fight…you heard barely anything about the Weidman/Michida fight.

    She will keep being thrust down our throat until she looses…then what will Dana do?? He will turn the hype train up to 11!! Cyborg or Holly Holm are the only 2 that will beat her…and you will see all kinds of obstacles put in the way of those fights just to protect Rousey.

    We might as well get used to these kinds of outbursts from Dana as long as she holds the belt. Lets be honest with ourselves here…an ESPY…really??? That’s really one to put on your resume…Dana is going to hype anything that Rousey puts her name to as if its the biggest thing in the world. I could see if she got a nobel peace prize…but an espy? Thats like getting your picture on the wall at buffalo wild wings for eating a plate of those hot ass wings…cool…but really no one gives a shit!!

  • Get2DaChoppa

    Is Dana banging Ronda? The amount of praise he showers her with is over the top and feels dirty. I know his job is to sell tickets but man he’s really going overboard. Ronda is a former Olympic athlete fighting in a relatively new sport for woman. It’s not like the talent pool in women’s MMA in which Dana pulls from is deep with versatility and tradition. As far as Carano’s concerned she’s being brought in as a sacrificial lamb just so Dana can hype Ronda up even more.

  • spunkmunky

    I’m surprised Dana tool Rhonda’s c@(k out of his mouth long enough to say anything at all.
    I think he is such a bubble of yes men, that he’s created by being a tyrant. That he honestly doesn’t know how incredibly stupid he sounds at times. It’s kinda sad really

  • Scooby

    Dana, you disgusting, fat piglet!

  • DAVE TURCO

    shes the greatest –translation Shes making me the most money out of all the fighters I have on contract

    • WhereIsHomefront2?

      …but she doesn’t. As it turns out, she’s just one of three UFC champions that lets him do anal.

      • Matt

        SOB!!! I just spit water all over my screen… thanks for the laugh homefront! HAHAHA!!!

  • WhereIsHomefront2?

    Dana White, the laughably awful snake oil salesman. Who does he think he’s kidding?