For Ronda Rousey, the prospect of becoming one of the biggest stars in all of MMA is right in front of her.
This November, Rousey will defend her UFC female bantamweight title against Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 193. The card will take place inside the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. It marks the Octagon’s debut in the Australian city, and a chance to shatter the all-time attendance record in the process.
And Rousey is embracing that challenge.
“I thought – that’s as big as a whole WrestleMania. I’ll have to sell it all by myself,” said Rousey, during a recent interview on UFC Tonight. “That’s a tall order. It’s great that the UFC has confidence we can set the record. It’s a testament to how far women’s MMA has come. It’s going to be great to set the record.”
Rousey (12-0), a former Olympic bronze medalist, actually appeared at the most recent WWE WrestleMania event, as she is a long-time fan of pro wrestling.
Since being taken into the third round in 2013 by Miesha Tate, “Rowdy” has been on a memorable run. She’s finished Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano and Bethe Correia in just over two minutes combined, including 14- and 16-second victories vs. Zingano and Davis.
In Holm, though, she’ll be facing a different beast. She is a former multi-time world boxing champion and is unbeaten in MMA.
“She’s got the best footwork of anyone I’ve ever fought before, so I couldn’t just come up and tie her up right away. She’s a great counter-puncher, I have to be more careful,” Rousey said. “I can’t be as risky. It’ll take a lot of patience to set her up to break the distance. I’ll have to be a much more mature fighter to finish her.
“I’ve been keeping my eye one her since before she moved to MMA. I knew our paths would cross at some point. I know I’ve been her focus since she came into this, but she’s been in the back of my mind the whole time too.”