Ronda Rousey, who faces Miesha Tate in a rematch tonight at UFC 168 recently spoke with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani in an illuminating interview where Rousey explained why she doesn’t mind being the bad guy.
“I spent my entire life being the bad guy. If I hear some boos, I mean, I’ve had some of the best performances of my life being booed terribly,” Rousey said in the interview. I was in the Pan-Am games in Rio and they actually had to bring in riot police because one of the finals was between Cuba and Brazil. And, I was fighting Brazil in the finals. Those were some boos, OK? They had riot police on stand-by.”
“That was a real booing crowd and I fought above myself that day. That’s an environment where I do great. So, you know what? Let there be some boos,” she added. “Let there be people who are extra excited and let there be some tension in the crowd. That’s what really makes an exciting arena. That’s what I want.”
In fact, being the face of women’s MMA, Rousey has only recently felt what it feels like to have a positive crowd. “When I did judo I was booed in thirty different countries all over the world. I didn’t know what a cheer was until I started doing MMA,” she said.
The rivalry between Tate and Rousey has been brewing between them for a while now, but Rousey said that doesn’t bother her. “I’ve had rivalries ever since I was a little kid,” she said.
“When I was doing the junior nationals as a kid, there would always be that one little girl that would always make it to the finals. I’ve spent my whole career thriving off of these rivalries. It gets me excited … I’ve dealt with this my whole life and this is relatively new to [Tate],” Rousey said.