Ronda Rousey on Next Opponent: “I’m the Champ… I’m Waiting for Who Steps Up”

September 15, 2014
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Ronda RouseyThe speculation about UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s next opponent began moments after retaining her title for the fourth time at UFC 175 on July 5 in Las Vegas.

During her in-octagon interview following the 16-second knockout of Alexis Davis, Rousey was asked if she’d be willing to make a quick turnaround to fight at UFC 176 to fill the void of featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who had to drop out of his rematch against Chad Mendes. The scheduled event was eventually postponed.

Regardless of when Rousey fights next, the burning question is; who will be her opponent? If you ask her, she has a preferred list, but doesn’t really care who she’ll face next.

SEE ALSO: Ronda Rousey Reveals Broken Thumb (Video)

“I’m the champ. I’m supposed to fight anyone at any time, and I’m waiting for who steps up,” Rousey said while attending UFC Fight Night 51 in Brazil on Saturday.

Although she’s made it clear that she’s willing to fight whomever the matchmakers decide to put in front of her, the 27-year-old titleholder wants to defeat the fighter that’s beat two of her teammates, Brazilian Bethe Correia.

“I want to fight Bethe. I want to fight Bethe in Brazil actually. I think it would be an amazing event and I’d love to be part of it,” said Rousey.

The undefeated Correia has fought twice in the UFC and logged dominant wins over Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler, two of Rousey’s training partners. Correia has seized the opportunity to call out Rousey after each win, and the champion admires the 31-year-old’s approach.

“I think it’s extremely intelligent of her. I think it’s one of the things that was missing in women’s MMA before I came along and I’m glad that the girls are taking the hint and making themselves a lot more interesting to the fans,” said Rousey.

“I think storylines and the backstory is extremely important because the fight becomes more of who is athletically better. It becomes about who is right, and the fans pick favorites. It becomes personal with fans as well,” continued the women’s bantamweight champion.

“I think it’s very smart what she’s doing. She’s not going to get away with it, but it’s very intelligent.”

Correia has two UFC fights on her resume. She’s currently ranked ninth in the women’s 135-pound division. But it’s a fight Rousey wants and one that she thinks Correia is ready to take on.

“I definitely think she’s ready to challenge me. I think she’s one of the best in the division,” said Rousey. “She’s a top contender, and as soon as Dana (White) thinks that it’s her time, I’m ready to fight her.”

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  • SlickRick

    I don’t think anyone currently in the division puts up a serious challenge to Rousey until Cyborg is signed at 135. And even then, her “berserker” style gets her quickly clinched and tossed. With her strikes nullified, she’s not likely to last too long either.

    • The Prognosticator

      Cyborg’s style is not a “beserker” style. I suggest you watch or rewatch her second fight with Marloes Coenen. Cyborg is the most technical striker in Women’s MMA history bar none. In addition she is also a two-time IBJFF World Jiu-Jitsu champion and a blackbelt in BJJ. Therefore, IMO, a Rousey armbar is unlikely. Result = Cyborg via R1 TKO.

      • Yannick Messaoud

        All that talk about Cyborg but did you not see she lost a Muay Thai fight last month ended up in a decision…… if she ever makes it to 135 she will be weak, i have no high hopes that she will ever fight Rousey, like Caranno she will have issues making weight. Cyborg is terrible on the ground remember the Carabbo fight, Gina had her on the ground then stood up, she could have GNP her silly. Right now even if i don’t agree with her swollen head douchette attitude Rousey is on top she is talented and getting better every fight i don’t see anyone right now beating her in the 135 pound division

        • The Prognosticator

          That is an apples to oranges comparison. I am talking about MMA, not Lion Fights Muay Thai. For example, Jorina Baars, the woman who beat Cyborg, is 1-3 in MMA with three losses via TKO. Also, if Rousey was in that Muay Thai fight instead of Cyborg, she would’ve been KO’d in R1.

          To address your next point, I suggest you rewatch the Cyborg versus Carano fight, the only reason Carano got two takedowns was because Cyborg incorrectly executed two throws and ended up on bottom both times. Furthermore, Cyborg reversed Carano’s mount in under one minute and took her back using her BJJ skills, which is why Carano idiotically let Cyborg up after Cyborg incorrectly executed the second throw.

          Finally, it has been five years since that fight, Cyborg is now in her prime. She does not make mistakes like incorrectly executing throws anymore which is why she will easily overwhelm Rousey, just like she tee’d off on Carano and Coenen.

          • backkick

            Great having some logic and sense on here, prognosicator. Bang on.

          • SlickRick

            “Incorrectly” executing a throw? “mounting” a ground wizard like Carano? Boy, those are some serious grappling skills….Yeah us Rousey fans like our chances on the ground which is exactly where this will end up. Good luck…..

          • The Prognosticator

            Cyborg won’t need luck because Rousey would rather retire than fight Cyborg as evidenced by the past two years of openly ducking her.

            BTW, Carano did not work to a mount against Cyborg she fell into one after Cyborg incorrectly executed the first throw and still got herself reversed and her back taken. From your comment I doubt you’ve even seen that fight.

      • SlickRick

        Granted Cyborg can sometimes show patience and strike from a distance, but more often than not, she rushes in berserker style with wide, non technical punches in an effort to overwhelm her much weaker opponents. She is not a one punch knock out artist. She beats her opponents with volume. She will not fight Rousey with patience. She will fight her with hatred. She will absolutely rush in and try to decapitate Rousey and suddenly find herself landing on her head. Considering Rousey has finished 90% of her fights in the first round (to Cyborgs 55%), I think you’re 1st round prediction is correct …problem is you picked the wrong fighter to finish.

  • dandogood

    why wouldn’t Rousey fight more often to make as much cash as possible? The window of greatness is slight and closes quickly. But the UFC is cheap in what they pay Rousey. Go make movies and not get punched for $35,000 a fight. Dana gets rich and throws out nickels like they were manhole covers.

    • SlickRick

      Rousey does not only make what is published. PPV cuts for marquee athletes, Behind the scenes bonuses/perks and sponsorship deals significantly ramp up income. UFC stars make a few million a year when all is taken into account. That is why the stars are not begging for more fights. There is no need to fight more than a 2 or 3 times a year when they have reached star status. Put it this way, GSP retired a millionaire thanks to the UFC and all the opportunities that opened for him.

      • BK2ICON

        To be honest I doubt she has made it to the point where she gets PPV points yet. She’ll probably have to wait and rework her contract. I’m not saying she isn’t getting something on the back end but I’m sure she isn’t getting Lesnar, Couture, GSP, Silva back end and ppv money. But I’m sure it’s coming.!

  • dandogood

    Rousey is a superstar and deserves royal treatment. Let Rhonda fight Bethe in Brazil and pay her. It’s the show more than the actual fight anyway for Rousey. Fans want her to win.

  • dandogood

    Cyborg might be the better man over Rousey but Rousey is the better female with all working parts. Imagine tying one on some night and waking up next to Cyborg in the bed? Now that would be drunk times 1000.