LAS VEGAS – Ronda Rousey put on arguably her greatest performance Saturday on the heels of a summer spent filming a television reality series and two movies, a magazine photo cover spread and countless personal appearances.

And now, after submitting Miesha Tate in the third round with an arm bar in the Fight of the Night before 15,650 at the MGM Grand Garden to retain her UFC women's bantamweight title, Rousey has accepted an even greater challenge.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo will return to competition in less than two months to headline UFC 170 on Feb. 22 against 2004 Olympic freestyle wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann.

The crowd booed Rousey relentlessly after she refused Tate's handshake, but it was no coincidence. Rousey saw the trend in which she had been portrayed as the heel on "The Ultimate Fighter," and she went with it.

It was a classic pro wrestling move, but also proved that fans have an opinion of her.

"I wasn't surprised at all [because] I was aware of the role I was in," Rousey said of the vociferous chorus of boos. "The favorite analogy I use is that Batman played the bad guy and let Scarface [actually Two-Face] play the good guy. Every fight I approach it with what's needed at the time."

What's needed in the UFC are new young stars, and Rousey is the most prominent of many of them like middleweight champion Chris Weidman, heavyweight Travis Browne and light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson.

She's an amazing athlete, and threw Tate around like a rag doll on Saturday. Tate is one of the elite fighters in the world, but she could do little against Rousey except to try to fend her off.

Rousey completed at least five, and perhaps more, judo throws, violently slamming Tate down. But she also showed much improved jiu-jitsu and was better in every phase of the game than she had been at UFC 157 when she submitted Liz Carmouche.

After she finished filming TUF in Las Vegas, she did "Fast & Furious 7" in Atlanta and then went to Bulgaria to film a role in "The Expendables 3."

She'd beaten Tate in the past, so she said she needed to put more on her plate to challenge herself. It was difficult, she said, because she was alone most of the time she was in Bulgaria.

But former world champion boxer Victor Ortiz also has a role in the film and he and Rousey worked out together.

"Me and Victor were able to keep each other mutually motivated a lot of the time," she said. "We ran up the mountain and he'd yell, 'And still! And still!' We'd go to the boxing gym, because they set up a place where we could go, and we mostly did distance things. He'd try to get away from me and I'd try to clinch with him without getting hit. Even if he was on one side of the gym hitting a bag and I was a few feet away wrestling around with some Bulgarian dudes, it was nice to have company in the gym."

She'll take a few days off, but will have to hop right back into training to face McMann, who figures to give the toughest test of her career.

McMann's wrestling ability should help her against Rousey's judo, and allow her to have some control of where the fight is fought.

But in the short time she has been a professional, Rousey has proven that it is unwise to underestimate her.

Tate was able to prepare for months where and when she wanted, but the globetrotting Rousey was dominant in all areas.

"Doing those movies did make it more difficult, but I did that on purpose," she said. "I don't do this for a living to do things that are easy. I have to keep finding ways to challenge myself and that's what I needed to do to make this fight more challenging."

Lord only knows how Rousey can challenge herself in the short time until Feb. 22, but have no doubt she'll find a way.

She's a world-class athlete with a killer competitive drive.

She's not unbeatable, because no one is, but it's going to take another world-class athlete who is on top of her game to beat her.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC's least popular champ may be most like Ronda Rousey (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 42 views

From Yahoo Sports: Joanna Jedrzejczyk isn't a burgeoning movie star, but her drive to stay on top puts her in rare company. read news >>

UFC's least popular champ may be most like Ronda Rousey (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 6 views

From Yahoo Sports: Joanna Jedrzejczyk isn't a burgeoning movie star, but her drive to stay on top puts her in rare company. read news >>

Ronda Rousey: 'Bethe Correia succeeded in being disliked more than Miesha Tate, that's quite a feat'

  • 5 days ago
  • 7 views

Ronda Rousey was at the unveiling of Reebok's new UFC "Fight Kit" in New York City on Tuesday (June 30, 2015) and the women's bantamweight champion looked back over the last four years, as well as ah read news >>

Miesha Tate: Win over Jessica Eye is 'final step' toward Ronda Rousey trilogy fight

  • a day ago
  • 37 views

The No. 2-ranked UFC women's Bantamweight says a win over Jessica Eye at UFC on FOX 16 should punch her ticket to a trilogy fight against current champion and long-time rival, Ronda Rousey. NEW YORK read news >>

Coach: Holly Holm needs two more UFC fights before challenging 'scary' Ronda Rousey

  • 26 days ago
  • 11 views

Mike Winkeljohn isn't in a hurry to throw Holly Holm into a title fight against "scary" Ronda Rousey, as the striking coach revealed he'd like "The Preacher's Daughter" to have at least two more UFC read news >>

Fabricio Werdum hopes to shock the world %26#x2026; again (Yahoo Sports)

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

The interim heavyweight champ is a 5-1 underdog against Cain Velasquez, but that's a position he's won from before. read news >>

Gilbert Melendez may be a veteran fighter, but he%26#x2019;s far from finished (Yahoo Sports)

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: Melendez, 33, takes on Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 on Saturday to prove he’s still got it. read news >>

Gilbert Melendez may be a veteran fighter, but he%26#x2019;s far from finished (Yahoo Sports)

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: Melendez, 33, takes on Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 on Saturday to prove he’s still got it. read news >>

Watch this new video from Tito Ortiz proving why Ronda Rousey is ducking Cris Cyborg

  • 27 days ago
  • 2151 views

Why won't UFC 190 headliner Ronda Rousey fight Cristiane Justino? I mean beside the fact that "Cyborg" still isn't competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight division, or that read news >>

Ronda Rousey sells old car for $21,300, hopes new owner doesn't 'jerk off on it everyday'

  • 28 days ago
  • 78 views

Ronda Rousey has sold the old car she once lived in on Ebay. Ronda Rousey's old Honda Accord was put up on Ebay last week, and after 77 bids, the 10-year-old car with a faulty transmission was sold f read news >>