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Ronda Rousey takes center stage at Glendale Fighting Club

Mixed martial arts: Strikeforce champion ready, focused on first title defense vs. Kaufman on Aug. 18.

August 06, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Ronda Rousey trains at Glendale Fighting Club for her first Strikeforce women's bantamweight title defense with Sarah Kaufman on Aug. 18 at the Valley View Casino in San Diego in the main event of Strikeforce's "Rousey vs. Kaufman" card live on Showtime.
Ronda Rousey trains at Glendale Fighting Club for her… (Roger Wilson/Staff…)

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Whether it's regarding her gracing the cover of "ESPN The Magazine Body Issue," hosting an episode of TMZ, choice words for Kim Kardashian and Michael Phelps or myriad other topics, instances, interviews and appearances, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey has been no stranger to the spotlight since winning the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title.

Now, just under two weeks from her first title defense against challenger Sarah Kaufman, Rousey's still got plenty of questions to answer and appearances to make, but she's clearly focused on the task that lies ahead when she faces Kaufman on Aug. 18 at the Valley View Casino in San Diego in the main event of Strikeforce's "Rousey vs. Kaufman" card live on Showtime.

"I just want to fight," said Rousey on Monday at a Strikeforce-hosted media workout at the Glendale Fighting Club. "I just want her to walk in that door and get it on."

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Rousey (5-0) won the title on March 3 via first-round armbar submission — the exact manner in which she's won all of her bouts — against Miesha Tate. The bout was preceded by an avalanche of build-up brimming with trash talk and harsh words from both parties. However, this time around, Kaufman (15-1), a former Strikeforce champion herself, hasn't made a whole lot of noise leading into the bout.

"She's content to sit back and let me do all the work [promoting the fight] and just trains. ... And I'm cool with that," said Rousey before she was asked whether it was fair for her to take on the lion's share of the media obligations. "It's not fair that I have to do all the media work, but it's not fair that she has to fight me."

Never lacking confidence or unwilling to answer a question with complete honesty, the 25-year-old Rousey has done more than her fair share of media work. And, in the process, she's grabbed plenty of headlines and limelight as she's become a full-fledged mixed-martial-arts star since winning Strikeforce gold, with Dana White, the president of Strikeforce sibling company the Ultimate Fighting Championship, even tabbing her "a rock star."

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