UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is just nine days away from her next title defense, but she admits it’s hard not to think about the fight after that – or even the one after that.
On July 5 she co-headlines the UFC 175 pay-per-view event, the UFC’s annual Independence Day weekend blockbuster, serving as the lead-in for the night’s headliner between middleweight champ Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. Two fights ago, Rousey co-headlined UFC 168, the organization’s annual year-end super show, which featured the long-awaited Weidman vs. Anderson Silva rematch.
Rousey (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who’s a 9-1 favorite over Alexis Davis (16-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at next week’s event, believes she’s earned her spot on the organization’s biggest cards. It’s why, while trying not to look past Davis, she’s hoping for a spot on the next year-end card – and maybe even a card before that.
“I would like to fight again at New Year’s, but that’s completely up to the UFC,” she told MMAjunkie. “I mean, I really like the feeling of these big cards, the New Year’s and the Fourth of July events. I feel like those are the biggest of the year, and I feel like that I’m a big enough draw that I deserve to be on the biggest cards of the year.”
UFC President Dana White would probably agree. Earlier this year, he compared Rousey to UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell because of her willingness to fight anyone at any time. White’s even gone as far as saying Rousey is “the biggest star we’ve ever had.”
With a record 56-day turnaround for UFC champions, Rousey followed up her high-profile UFC 168 victory over Miesha Tate and notched her first title defense of 2014 in February, when she scored a TKO victory over Sara McMann. After a string of eight straight armbar wins, she used a knee to the body to defeat McMann (though the Olympian complained of an early stoppage).
Despite a growing list of ventures outside the cage, including a role in the soon-to-be-released “The Expendables 3,” Rousey remains one of the organization’s busiest champions.
However, she said she likes such a schedule, which is why she isn’t counting out the possibility of fighting four times this year.
“I really like the three-times-a-year pace for a champion,” she said. “I think that really makes sense, and this year I wouldn’t mind doing four fights. I would like to fight again on New Year’s. But first, I’ve got to beat Alexis. I’ll think about the next one later.”
One reason Rousey said she’s able to keep such a pace is because of her non-traditional six-week fight camps. While most fighters opt for three-month camps, Rousey said her style of training really only needs half that time.
“I always do a six-week camp because I’m always in shape,” she said. “People that take a few months to do nothing, they need an eight- or 12-week camp. But I’m back to the gym sometimes two days after a fight. They can’t keep me out of the gym. Overtraining is something I really have to worry about more than anything. But since I’m always in the gym, I only need six-week camps.
” … I’ve been doing this long enough where I know the structure that works and the rhythm that my body is used to, and that takes six weeks.”
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Rousey isn’t just striking fear in the heart of female fighters. Even her male counterparts admit she’s a tough puzzle to solve. Check out the game plans they’d put together:
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