UFC champion and global phenomenon Ronda Rousey wants to retire undefeated and ensure she enters the pantheon of sporting greats alongside the likes of Tyson and Ali.
Rousey said in a recent interview with Self Magazine, "I want my name to be mentioned along with Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali," and she added "I don’t want the word ’woman’ to be in front of champion."
Rousey spoke of her burning desire to become a champion and be remembered as one of the greatest athletes to grace any sport, a desire she has known since childhood.
"When I was a kid, all I did was train," Rousey explained. "I never went to a dance, I never had a date, I never went to a single party. Training was my whole life, and it was because I wanted to be able to win the Olympics more than I wanted to go to the movies with my friends. It’s funny, because people get offended by the mindset that it takes to be the best."
The former judo Olympian isn’t afraid to call herself the best because, after all, she’s earned it.
"If I say that I’m the best in the world, sometimes people think that’s really cocky and arrogant, but I had to work hard to be able to believe in myself," Rousey said. "In your teens, you start to become super self-conscious. I had to build that up."
Dominant displays against would-be challengers Bethe Correia and Cat Zingano will have done her confidence no harm at all. She dispatched Zingano in just 14 seconds and it took the UFC champ just 20 seconds longer to defeat Correia whom she told not to cry at the end of the bout.
Rousey is now preparing to defend her title for the seventh time. This time, it’s undefeated Holly Holm who will get a crack at the crown at UFC 193 in Australia. And as she prepares for yet another fight to defend her title and her throne, Rousey keeps one phrase in mind. It’s the same phrase she’s used time and again and it hasn’t failed her yet.
"My mantra: No one has the right to beat me," Rousey said. "Fighters are born, champions are made."
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved