Now the test will come from a champion boxer, and like everything else Ronda Rousey has confronted in the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon, the women’s bantamweight champion vows she’s ready for it.
On Nov. 14 in an outdoor stadium in Melbourne, Australia, Rousey (12-0) will defend her belt against New Mexico’s Holly Holm (9-0) at UFC 193.
In her last four fights, Rousey has finished her opponents in 34 seconds, 14 seconds, 16 seconds and 66 seconds.
She spoke Tuesday of reaching remarkable goals beyond mixed martial arts, such as seeking titles in boxing and Brazilian jiujitsu.
“To be honest, my goals are so crazy. … I don’t know if I have the time, but I want to be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time,” Rousey said. “I’ve got an Olympic gold medal [in judo].
“I want to be the best of all time in any sport. How that is possible to do, I’m going to have to figure it out. But I’m trying. It’s a matter of prioritizing.”
The pursuit could kill two birds with one stone by defeating Holm, 34, who has also trained in kickboxing.
“This match would help to show my striking legitimacy with the boxing crowd,” Rousey said after being on the cover of boxing magazine The Ring this month, wearing a UFC glove on one hand and a boxing glove on the other.
“It’s still a different sport. I’d only be able to prove I have respect as a boxer by beating a boxer in their own sport.”
Rousey held a media day Tuesday at her trainer Edmond Tarverdyan’s gym.
She chided Holm a bit, contending she doesn’t believe the contender could handle the commitments of being a champion and the stress of the demands and lifestyle.
“If any of you guys could sit right here and keep your [stuff] together, I’d be impressed,” she said.
One topic raised were recent critical comments by Rousey’s mother, AnnMaria DeMars, about Tarverdyan.
Rousey said she would would not talk publicly about the matter and Tarverdyan said he would never speak ill of someone’s mother.
“A mom’s a mom,” he said.
The trainer said he expects Holm to do some retreating during the fight.
“Holly’s not going to try to box with us,” for fear of getting taken down or grabbed, Tarverdyan said. “Holly’s going to be running. If the question is, does Ronda need to prove she’s boxer? I wish she does box. Because Ronda has knockout power in both hands.”
Rousey knocked out Alexis Davis and Bethe Correia in recent fights.
“She’s a natural born fighter,” Tarverdyan said.