Ronda Rousey fights Friday night on Strikeforce Challengers 18 in Las Vegas and will look to go 3-0 in her professional MMA career. Even though she hasn’t fought much as a pro, she’s an athlete you should know. As Bloody Elbow explained to us, Rousey has aspirations of becoming the new female face of MMA. With the talent she’s displayed, gaining that reputation seems entirely possible.
In five career fights (three amateur and two professional), Rousey is 5-0 with five submissions coming by armbar, all in the first minute. She’s also an accomplished Olympian having represented the U.S. twice in judo. Rousey made the Olympics team as a 17-year-old in 2004 and won a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008.
In an interview posted Thursday by Strikeforce, Rousey stated some of her future goals.
“For this fight my goal is to go in and win. Make it look good, make it look entertaining, and look good while I’m at it,” she said. “I want to bring a lot more attention to women’s MMA and what I really think we need right now is a face of the sport that people actually want to look at. So I’m gonna try my best to be that person.”
If you think that female MMA already has a public face, you’re right. Rousey recognizes that Gina Carano has helped grow the sport for females and appreciates what she’s done.
“I think Gina Carano saved my life. I would not be doing MMA if it weren’t for her. I don’t think I would have a viable career if it wasn’t for her,” Rousey said. “People can hate on her all they want, but you know what? I don’t care how she did it, but she made women’s MMA a real product. And I’m very grateful for her. She changed my life and I never met her. I don’t have one bad thing to say about her.”
Luckily for Rousey Strikeforce still believes in female MMA. However, her obstacle is getting the UFC to include a women’s division. The problem is not that female MMA lacks entertainment, it’s that there aren’t enough talented female fighters to create competitive divisions. It’s sad that women like Cyborg Santos and potentially Rousey will have their growth stunted because of a lack of competition, but that’s reality.