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

Ronda Rousey Plans 'World Domination' as Lyoto Machida Issues Cyborg Warning

  • 29 days ago
  • 669 views

Ronda Rousey is planning a return to the UFC and is aiming to reassert the dominance she enjoyed before her November defeat to Holly Holm, according to her nutrition coach, Mike Dolce. Before the bru read news >>

Miesha Tate Video: Dishing on Amanda Nunes Fight Ahead of Ronda Rousey or Holly Holm

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

Miesha Tate talks about facing Amanda Nunes, potential rematches with Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey, and what's on the horizon with Cris Cyborg. read news >>

Mike Tyson Discusses 'Phenomenal' Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones

  • 23 days ago
  • 44 views

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has hailed Conor McGregor as the most fascinating personality in the UFC ahead of the likes of Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey. Speaking with Nick Peet read news >>

Miesha Tate Has ‘Unfinished Business,’ Wants Ronda Rousey Next

  • 22 days ago
  • 14 views

UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and former titleholder Ronda Rousey have quite the history, dating back to before either were in the UFC. read news >>

UFC on FOX 19's Bethe Correia: Media turned me into villain against Ronda Rousey

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

Bethe Correia hasn’t stepped in the UFC’s famed octagon since this past August when her dreams of becoming UFC champion were dashed at the hands of Ronda Rousey in on 34 seconds.Filed under: News, UF read news >>

Dana White Comments on Ronda Rousey's Comeback Fight, Holly Holm

  • 17 days ago
  • 39 views

UFC President Dana White confirmed Sunday that Ronda Rousey will have a chance to win back the UFC women's bantamweight title when she steps into the Octagon again. White discussed Rousey's immediate read news >>

Dana White Guarantees Ronda Rousey ‘Will Fight Whoever Has the Belt’ in UFC Return

  • 17 days ago
  • 14 views

We don't know when or where Ronda Rousey will make her UFC return, but Dana White guarantees she'll get a title shot when she does. read news >>

Emotional Travis Browne Says He and Ronda Rousey Saved Each Other Amidst Dark Times (Video)

  • 9 days ago
  • 37 views

Travis Browne talked about some tough times, defending himself against false accusations, and how he and Ronda Rousey helped each other through murky waters. read news >>

Ronda Rousey: ‘I Need to Come Back, and I Need to Win’ (Video)

  • 8 days ago
  • 21 views

Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is determined to return better than ever and recapture her status as the queen of the 135-pound division. read news >>

Ronda Rousey Reportedly Agrees to 3-Movie Deal with Lifetime Network

  • 8 days ago
  • 13 views

UFC superstar Ronda Rousey reportedly reached an agreement with the Lifetime Network on a three-picture movie deal with a focus on empowerment projects. Denise Petski of Deadline first reported the n read news >>