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Ronda Rousey: “You don’t retain fans with a gimmick but you rope them in…”

Undefeated judoka Ronda Rousey has never shied away from her opinion on the importance of physical appearance in women’s MMA. Though the 4-0 bantamweight has drawn criticism from some fans, media, and fellow fighters, given her headlining slot against champion Miesha Tate on a March 3 Strikeforce card it appears the 25-year old is clearly onto something.

Rousey explained her reasoning in a recent roundtable with media to promote the upcoming show where she equated it to an attention-grabbing gimmick rather than a core component of the sport she calls home.

“You get people to look, originally, that don’t know anything about women’s MMA or even MMA in general,” said Rousey (props to MMAFighting for the video). “It’s something different. When do you see two girls fighting and when do you see two good looking girls fighting? It’s something people will stop and look at.”

“If you see two girls fighting on a playground or something like that you’ll stop and look and be like, ‘Hey, look there are two girls fighting,’ and then you keep walking,” Rousey continued, elaborating in terms of why ability is the most important aspect involved. “You don’t keep people like that. But I think you can get people to stop and look for a second with that. You don’t retain fans with a gimmick but you rope them in (with that) in the first place…that’s why you don’t see ring girls fighting.”

“It’s the actual sport and skill that makes people stay but you’ve gotta show them something bright and shiny in the first place,” she concluded.

Rousey will rumble with Tate in the main event of the Showtime-broadcast card with other fights including action from K.J. Noons, Paul Daley, and Ronaldo Souza.


MMATraining Take: I like Rousey more and more every time she speaks. She also went into detail discussing the importance of adding something more to a match-up than it simply being two people fighting; that storylines were important too. I’m not sure if she’ll beat Tate but when they meet I’m pretty sure a first round Armbar would launch Rousey into the stratosphere of popularity given the build behind the bout.


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