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MMA: UFC champ Rousey says women “fastest-growing part of MMA”

Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (pictured at The Expendables 3 premiere) will watch the organisation’s first women’s fight in Asia when she attends UFC Fight Night Macao: Bisping vs Le on Saturday. Photo: AFP.

Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (pictured at The Expendables 3 premiere) will watch the organisation’s first women’s fight in Asia when she attends UFC Fight Night Macao: Bisping vs Le on Saturday. Photo: AFP.

August 18, 2014: Ronda Rousey says women will play an increasing role in the combative world of mixed martial arts, as the American star prepares to watch Milana Dudieva face Elizabeth Phillips in Macau on Saturday in the UFC’s first-ever women’s fight in Asia.

 

Dudieva and Phillips feature on a 10-bout card at UFC Fight Night Macau, which is topped by Cung Le’s clash with Michael Bisping and co-headlined by Kim Dong-hyun’s battle with American Tyron Woodley.

 

Rousey will be ringside at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena and casting a close eye on 27-year-old compatriot Phillips and Dudieva, the 25-year-old Russian making her UFC debut after racking up a 10-3 record in MMA since 2009.

 

“The women can definitely steal the show in China,” Rousey told SportAsia. “If people say that MMA is the world’s fastest-growing sport, then women’s MMA is the fastest-growing part of the sport.”

 

Rousey – currently gaining attention as a star in The Expendables 3 – has been the UFC’s poster girl since becoming the first female fighter to sign with the sport’s biggest organisation in November 2012.

 

The 27-year-old has since won all four of her UFC fights as bantamweight champion and extended her perfect MMA record to 10-0, which started with eight straight wins by armbar.

 

Rousey’s trademark armbar submission stems from her successful judo career, which culminated in the middleweight (70 kg) winning a silver at the 2007 World Judo Championships in Rio, gold at the 2007 Pan-Am Games, also in Rio, and bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

 

Her Beijing bronze made her the first American to win an Olympic medal in women’s judo since its inception as an Olympic sport in 1992, showing a groundbreaking spirit she inherited from her mother AnnMaria De Mars, who became the first American to win a World Judo Championships title when she claimed the 56kg class in Austria in 1984.

 

Rousey believes that Asia, as the home of many martial arts, will produce more female MMA stars and advises fellow judo exponents to master the armbar submission that has served her so well in MMA.

 

“My original martial art, judo, originates from Asia and I definitely think that there’s a lot of potential in Asian athletes,” Rousey said. “Work on those armbars.”

 

The tough-talking Rousey also had simple advice for Filipino-American star Ana Julaton – a former world boxing champion – and Malaysia’s Ann Osman, who go head to head in One FC: Reign of Champions in Dubai on August 29: “Don’t take no for an answer.”

 

Rousey admitted that she’s keen to return to Asia to fight on a UFC card, having also previously fought in Seoul and Tokyo during her judo career.

 

“I definitely think I could, since I’ve had such good fortune in fighting in Asia. I look forward to fighting there again.”

 

For more information on UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Le, visit: http://www.ufc.com/event/ufc-fight-night-macao-cotai-arena

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