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Rousey takes her time to shine

January 18, 2012|Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

"She's destined to be a champion — that's her destiny."

— Darin Harvey on Ronda Rousey, who he manages.

A whirlwind of judo throws, gruesome grappling and cringe-inducing arm bars, Ronda Rousey has done in mere seconds of violent brilliance what others have gone an entire career without accomplishing.

An Olympic Bronze-medaled beauty, she offers up a total package brimming over with physical skills, intangibles and a sharp tongue rivaled only by her skillset.

It will be 24 days shy of a year — to be exact — for Rousey as a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter when she squares off with Miesha "Takedown" Tate on March 3 in Columbus, Ohio at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey for the promotion's women's bantamweight title. And it will be, arguably, the second biggest women's fight on North American soil in the history of MMA.

And, for the 24-year-old former two-time Olympian, everything's seemingly going exactly as planned, as she's been bestowed exactly what's she's wanted. A lightning rod for controversy, fan appeal and always-entertaining quotes, Rousey has used her aforementioned total package — her quick wit, good looks, charming smile and, of course, dominance in the cage — to seize a title shot when there are many — in particular, Tate — who don't believe she deserves one.

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None of that's right, though. Rousey's earned a championship bout that she deserves, because she earned it the old-fashioned way — she took it.

Rousey, who trains under Edmond Tarverdyan at the Glendale Fighting Club along with other Southern California locales, has ripped through four professional opponents — and three more on the amateur circuit — at a pace so torrid and impressive that she's forced promoters, fans and pundits to take notice.

In four pro fights, she's taken just 138 seconds to arm bar four opponents into submission and grab enough attention to garner a title shot.

Of course, the title shot hasn't come without controversy and likely hasn't come strictly on the merits of the path of destruction she's laid forth in the cage.

Tate has been quite vocal in her disagreement with Rousey getting a title shot.

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