MMA: UFC 168-Rousey vs Tate

(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

LAS VEGAS – For a breakout superstar, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has had to get used to the sound of boos in a hurry. It probably helps that she’s getting a lot of practice these days and figures to get more in the future.

In Las Vegas for her title defense against rival Miesha Tate (13-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in UFC 168, Rousey (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) heard it from fight fans all week. The champ got booed at the weigh-ins, during her walk to the cage and through her prefight introduction. When she didn’t shake Tate’s hand after winning via third-round arm-bar submission, the din of the angry fans threatened to tear the roof off of MGM Grand Garden Arena.

If Rousey was bothered by the venom, she wouldn’t admit it. Maybe because she knows exactly what she’s doing and why she’s doing it.

“I wasn’t surprised, because I was aware of the role I was in,” she said of the fan reaction, before framing the situation in a comic-book analogy.

“Batman played the bad guy and let (Two-Face) look like the good guy because that’s what Gotham City needed at the time,” Rousey said. “For every fight, I approach it as what’s needed at the time.”

For a women’s division still in its infancy with the UFC, it seems what Rousey thought it really needed was a villain. She might be right.

Before Rousey burst onto the scene, the knock on women’s MMA was, while there appeared to be some talent, there were few stars who could push the sport to the next level. For a time it seemed like EliteXC 145-pounder Gina Carano could change that with her movie-star looks and girl-next-door charm, but one bad beating sent her running for the safety of a Hollywood movie set, never to be seen in the cage again.

Rousey brings to the table not only Olympic-caliber athletic ability but also a mean streak that forces fans to choose a side and stick with it. That’s how it worked in her rivalry with Tate, and it doesn’t figure to be much different in her recently announced follow-up fight against Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in February in UFC 170.

Plenty of fans will probably never support Rousey, who remained as unapologetic as ever after defeating Tate and then snubbing her offer of a post-fight handshake. The vocal reaction, however, suggests there are very few who don’t at least feel something about her.

That might be the type of champion women’s MMA needs.

For complete coverage of UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Related News

Fightweets: Luke Rockhold and the revenge of Strikeforce

  • 26 days ago

LOS ANGELES -- Fabrico Werdum, Daniel Cormier, Robbie Lawler, Ronda Rousey. All Strikeforce alumni. All wearing UFC gold. As if that isn't an impressive enough UFC resume for a promotion that was som read news >>

'Nervous' Ronda Rousey on Entertainment Tonight: If I suck in Road House, everyone will hate me (Video)

  • 27 days ago

"I'm obsessed with Road House, I love Road House. I see why people would be hesitant to see a remake, because it is such a classic. In my own way, I'm nervous. The worst thing that’s going to happen read news >>

VIDEO: How Does Holly Holm Handle Everyone Writing Her Off Against Ronda Rousey?

  • 27 days ago

It's got to be difficult for Holly Holm to have everyone already write her off as a threat to UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. read news >>

Dana: Ronda Rousey would 'ragdoll' Mayweather but she should never fight a man

  • 27 days ago

Dana White believes Ronda Rousey has what it takes to beat Floyd Mayweather but doesn't think society should ever tolerate a man vs. woman in the ring. The Ronda Rousey vs. Man debate continues. UFC read news >>

Dana White: Ronda Rousey a much bigger star than Conor McGregor -- and everyone else in UFC

  • 28 days ago

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor has gone on record to call Ronda Rousey one of the biggest stars on the ZUFFA roster, as well as in all of mixed mar read news >>

Knockout Radio LIVE: Justin Gaethje, Ronda Rousey’s New Movie, and More

  • 28 days ago

Tune in for Knockout Radio LIVE featuring WSOF champ Justin Gaethje, Ronda Rousey's new movie role, and a recap of all the week's hottest MMA news. read news >>

Luke Rockhold wants to 'slap the sh-t' out of Conor McGregor, who is nowhere near Ronda Rousey's level

  • 28 days ago

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim featherweight titleholder Conor McGregor is really good at getting under people's skin. Look no further than the promotion's recent "Go Big" press confere read news >>

Whether Conor McGregor Likes it or not, Ronda Rousey is the UFC’s Biggest Star

  • 28 days ago

As much of a braggadocio as he is about his star power, Conor McGregor is not the biggest star in the UFC. Ronda Rousey is. read news >>

Video: Dana White and Ronda Rousey talk about starring role at 'Road House' remake

  • 28 days ago

Dana White and Ronda Rousey spoke about her starring role at the upcoming remake of the 80's cult film 'Road House'. Yesterday, news broke that Ronda Rousey will be starring in a remake of 80's cult read news >>

Dana White: Miesha Tate has to 'knock a couple more people off' before Ronda Rousey

  • 29 days ago

Miesha Tate’s prospect of another UFC title fight against women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey have gone from bad to worse.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>