"It's going to be a dream come true". That's the real Ronda Rousey. Even Conor McGregor, its charismatic two-belt champion, was pulled from UFC 200 this year when he balked at a request to fly from his training camp to Las Vegas to promote. And it sounds like the time off it's giving her on fight week is helping her focus on beating Rousey. Sure, Ronda was on top from the creation of the division in 2012 until a year ago.
"All the pay-per-views in the world, all the money in the world, it means f--ing nothing to me because I lost", Rousey said.
Just four months into her championship reign, Tate's final days as a titleholder presented themselves. It's what matters to me: "to be the champion". I'm going to be honest with you.
"I heard so numerous worst things anyone could ever even imagine to think to say about me, every single day".
Hearing these words from the former Strikeforce and Invicta FC standout sounds like a lot more than prefight bluster.
Ronda's gameplan has never been a secret: she likes to get in quick, initiate a clinch, and then send her opponent flying with one of the dozens upon dozens of judo throws she has honed since childhood to razor sharp perfection. If I am cutting weight, she helps. "We do everything together", Nunes explained. But on the other side because we are fighters helps to make the relationship stronger. "That's what always seems to be with really competitive people just when they lose, they want to get back in there and do it again and do it again, do it again, do it again". It's a partnership. She's fighting at 115 (pounds), but she's tough.
"I think the UFC would make me [do media], for sure". Nunes comes forward and Ronda can throw her around and submit her.
"It's good for me". "This whole thing, I really don't know". I can go to people's houses through the magazine. "I think she can do whatever she wants".
I'm curious if this more confident Rousey will affect her fight this Friday, or if memories of her last loss will come back to haunt her.
Next up was her decision win over rising MMA prospect Valentina Schevchenko.
"It's going to be a battle", Nunes said. The stipulation in Rousey's favour is perhaps not so surprising when it's factored in that the WME-IMG talent agency, who are her representatives, have owned the UFC since their takeover in July.