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Thursday, 12/19/2013, 08:50 am

Ronda Rousey: I Don’t Want To Leave A Gina Carano Void

Without Ronda Rousey, it is likely we wouldn’t be seeing the exciting and skillful women’s mixed martial arts matches we see today in the UFC. Dana White has made it clear that without the beautiful, charismatic and technical Rousey, there would still not be female fights inside the octagon.

The question though, is can WMMA thrive when Rousey leaves? When Gina Carano decided to step away from the sport to pursue acting, the sport took a big hit. Rousey is determined to not let that happen again.

“Everyone loved Gina and Gina really started all the interest in women’s MMA, and when she left, the entire sport detonated without her,” Rousey told MMAjunkie. “I never want to leave the sport in that state she had to when she left. I’ve really accomplished a lot at this point, and I’m starting to think about more than just the present moment and thinking more down the line and how I want to leave some sort of a legacy.”

Rousey plans on being the catalyst that spurs WMMA to the top, just like Royce Gracie was for male MMA.

“I really want there to be women’s MMA fights in the UFC 20 years from now and be able to sit there and just revel in what was created – the way I see Royce Gracie sitting front row to the UFC’s now,” she said. “I want to really be able to sit and have that look of contentment and have that smile that I see Royce with when he’s at those events.”

Rousey’s plan may be working, as the UFC recently introduced a female 115 pound strawweight division, and Rousey said this helps to alleviate some of the stress that comes with being the torch-bearer of WMMA.

“I’m so excited the 115-pound division was brought in. A lot of them are so bright and charismatic. I really think they could carry the gauntlet in a fantastic way, and I couldn’t be any happier for them. It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders that there will be another women’s champion out there,” she said.

Until she feels the sport is in a stable position, Rousey does not plan on retiring.

“I really still feel like that weight is still on my shoulders. When I feel like I don’t have that responsibility anymore, that’s when I’ll start thinking about stepping away,” she said.

“Retire undefeated is what I’m going to do, and my mind is resolved to that. None of these girls have the right to beat me under any circumstances, and I’m not going to allow that to happen,” Rousey said. “I’m going to fight until I feel like I’m done, and when I feel like I’m done, I’m going to walk away and leave the sport in very capable hands.”

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