Ronda Rousey has never been one to shy away from the limelight. Since emerging as the spokeswoman for all of women’s MMA, Rousey has spoke exactly what’s been on her mind, without hesitation.
But leading up to her main event title fight with Sarah Kaufman on Aug. 18, we haven’t heard from the outspoken Rousey. Hardly a peep.
It may be due to Kaufman’s humbleness and respect for Rousey’s accomplishments, as she’s been unbeatable since joining the sport just a tad over two years ago. After all, why would Kaufman comment at all after witnessing what happened to former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate.
Or could all of Rousey’s silence be a result of something more? Something much more significant than the word battles or photo shoots. Could Rousey’s silence be a result of pressure?
The pressure to hold the weight of women’s MMA on her shoulders. All of it. Before Rousey, women’s MMA was something, but it wasn’t much. It was fading fast and nearly gone with the wind. Without Rousey, could women’s MMA begin to slowly but surely evaporate from the world in which we live?
Is this the pressure Rousey has heading into her first career title defense? Well, maybe a little.
“I’ve put the same amount of pressure on myself since the very beginning,” admitted Rousey in the Strikeforce media call where The MMA Corner was present. “I put a lot of the responsibility on myself.”
“Do I feel like I have to have all the responsibility for women’s MMA? No. I do think I’m capable of doing big things. Look at how far we’ve come. This will be the second main event in just a year,” said Rousey. “When is the last time that happened?”
While Rousey has certainly evolved as the face of women’s MMA, she still approaches every fight with the same mindset, the same approach that developed from her days competing in judo. As a former Olympic bronze medalist, Rousey knows she’s only as good as her last fight.
And even on her worst days, she wants to remain the best of the best.
“I was always told that you need to be able to win every match twice on your bad days. That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to discourage ever girl who thinks she has a chance at beating me. I was raised in a judo system. When you begin the day with your first fight, you’re not thinking about the championship fight,” said Rousey. “You take it fight by fight.”
“You’re only as good as your last fight,” said Rousey. “Everything I’ve ever put into my career will go into this fight.”
Rousey might be quieter than usual, but it’s obvious that she plans on letting her actions speak loudly for her come fight night.
Photo: Strikeforce Champion Ronda Rousey (Sherdog)