Ronda Rousey became one of the most hated mixed martial arts fighters in the UFC after her season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ aired on Fox Sports 1. In this situation, most public figures would release a statement saying that the tapes were manipulated in a way to make them look like the ‘bad guy’. She isn’t like most public figures, though.
Ronda Rousey is embracing the hate.
In a recent luncheon with the media, Ronda Rousey explained why she enjoys getting a chorus of “boos” from the crowd rather than encouraging cheers. BloodyElbow’s Trent Reinsmith transcribed the following: “I’ve never acted like a nice, sweet, young American girl. I always wanted to be the heel, and I’m sure people are still going to boo me. It’s not like they forgot about it and that’s fine. That’s the way it is. It’s like Saint McMann, they’re going to love her.”
The UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion continued, “I’m expecting a lot of boos for a while,” Rousey said. “Whatever, cheers don’t pay for my gas.”
At UFC 168, the crowd could have booed as loud as they wanted; The champion was not going to let anybody distract her from destroying challenger Miesha Tate who was standing across from her in the octagon. Ronda Rousey proved that night that her first victory over Tate was not luck and she was still the more dominant fighter of the two. “Cupcake” Tate submitted in the third round after getting locked up in another one of Ronda Rousey’s armbars.
Previously, Rousey had finished all of her fights in less than five minutes.
Despite being outclassed in multiple aspects of the fights, Miesha Tate proved to be the most resilient opponent Rousey had ever faced by escaping the first round. In an attempt to put an end to the rivalry, Miesha Tate extended her hand for a handshake. Ronda Rousey would have none of it, however, and walked back to her corner to celebrate with her team.
Rousey spoke about the criticism she has been receiving for turning down the handshake. “I had a couple people talking to me about the handshake thing, and you know what I think is the most iconic picture in all of sports? Ali standing over an unconscious Sonny Liston and taunting an unconscious opponent on the ground. How unsportsmanlike is that?” She continued, “If I knocked Miesha out and stood over her and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s right you stupid f—ing b—h,’ you know what everyone would say to me? You know how much everyone would freak out and call me the worst person in the world? That is one of the most iconic images in all of sports, and it was an unsportsmanlike moment.”
While it is fun being that bad girl, or heel as she puts it, she still desires to be remembered for what she does during her fights more than after.
“Hopefully people remember my athletic accomplishments more than anything else.”