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Rousey focused on fight at hand

Mixed martial arts: Budding Glendale-trained fighter ready for Julia Budd.

November 18, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Locally-trained MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will headline a Strikeforce card on Friday night.
Locally-trained MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will headline… (Tim Berger, unknown )

With all the buzz and hype that accompanied Ronda Rousey’s Strikeforce mixed-martial-arts debut, it was rather tepid in comparison to the whirlwind of talking heads and media meet-and-greets that the Glendale-trained grappler has had to deal with as of late.

Ahead of today’s Strikeforce Challengers 20 card at The Pearl at the Palms Casino & Resort, Rousey has found herself at media events for UFC 137, UFC on Fox and attended a red carpet event for the aforementioned Fox event. She’s made radio appearances and talked to print and Internet media members aplenty.

“Fortunately, I think I can handle it perfectly fine,” said Rousey, who will take on Julia Budd in a three-round featherweight (145 pounds) tilt in the co-main event of the Strikeforce card. “Nothing distracts me; If I can fight with nine stitches in my foot from a pit bull biting me, a couple of extra media interviews isn’t gonna distract me.

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“This is actually a luxury.”

A luxury because Rousey, who made her Strikeforce debut with a 25-second win over Sarah D’Alelio in August, realizes Strikeforce is behind her becoming a rising star in women’s MMA and the sport, in general, because she’s got the looks, the personality, the toughness and, above all else, the skills.

Those skills — at least as a professional — were first showcased in March of this year, when a professional debuting Rousey defeated veteran Ediane Gomes in just 25 seconds at a King of the Cage event. The quick win came just days after Rousey was breaking up a fight between her dog, Mochi, and her roommate’s dog and sustained a bite on the bottom of her foot that resulted in nine stitches and some careful maneuvering around athletic commission personnel to fight at all.

Now, just shy of eight months later, Rousey is fighting for the second time under the Strikeforce banner — easily the top organization in the world for women’s MMA — with a 3-0 pro record that has lasted all of just 99 seconds of total cage time.

“I just want to go in there and win in the most exciting way possible,” said Rousey, who was also 3-0 in the amateur ranks with a combined fight time of less than two minutes.

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