Did we mention she’s headlining UFC 184 (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, pay per view), where she’ll take on similarly undefeated Cat Zingano?
With a promising acting career and an upcoming memoir, Rousey is one busy woman. We caught up with her to talk movies, modeling and, oh yeah, MMA.
“I just have no patience for partying or anything like that. That’s how I am able to get so much done.”
You have Furious 7 coming up and you play yourself in the Entourage film. Do you think Hollywood recognizing you helps women’s MMA?
I definitely think that the audience for women’s MMA has expanded. There are different kinds of people coming to the sport. Many are first-time buyers of the pay per view or it’s their first time attending the event. That contributes to the fan base as a whole. It’s the first time in UFC history that women are the co-main event. That really means women are a force to be reckoned with in the sport. They don’t need anyone’s help to sell the event, they sell themselves. I think this card will do extremely well. Women have an instinct to fight just like men do!
How was your training camp?
This is the best camp I’ve ever had by far. The last three or four fights I’ve basically been operating on one leg. I went into surgery after my last fight, and it turns out I had an arthritic spur rubbing on my ACL and it was about to burst at any moment. We took care of it and everything is super. I haven’t been this healthy since I was 16 years old. This is the best I have ever felt! I wasn’t working on any movies between the two fights, it was all about recovery and making sure this fight was perfect.
What makes Cat Zingano a great fighter?
Her resilience. Every since time she’s ever been down in a fight, she’s come back and finished the other person. Now, I’m nothing like her previous opponents and I don’t think she could come back with me, but she’s someone that has to be thoroughly finished all the way to the end. She’s not somebody who can be discouraged about things going poorly at the beginning. In fact, she improves every single round. So I do believe that the longer the match goes, the more difficult Cat will be. A lot of people don’t know this but I get better with every round as well. I’m actually a slow starter, though it doesn’t look like that!
What most surprised you about doing the Sports Illustrated photo shoot?
It was so cold! I guess the best lighting is right when the sun is rising and setting and those are the times when it’s most freezing. I was chilled to the bone at the end of the day. When people went to lunch, I wanted to go into a hot tub! I was thinking that the camera would look blurry because I was shaking so much.
As an undefeated champion, it’s obvious you are very focused.
When I turned 21, I was a bartender. I pretty much drank and partied for one year straight and then I was over it forever. I never wanted to be that person on the other side of the bar by the time I was done. I just have no patience or motivation for partying or anything like that. That’s how I am able to get so much done.
You were an Olympic athlete. Any plans to go to the next Olympics?
I was just talking about this! I really want to go and watch the judo in Brazil. I’ve never been able to go just as a spectator. I had a fight on the day of closing ceremonies, and there was no way that I could go. When I heard it was in Rio this time, I decided I definitely wanted to go, as it’s one of all time favorite cities.
What do you do in your down time?
I go skimboarding in the mornings. I think it’s fun to go to independent wrestling shows, that’s like our girls’ night out! I’m pretty much a homebody, to be honest. I do so much travelling and so much work, I love to sit on the couch and read or play a game. I’m so active in my life, I really don’t move much in my free time. After this fight, I might go to Mexico for a little vacation. I am looking forward to that.