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Ronda Rousey lets smack, fingers fly toward Miesha Tate

Mixed martial arts: Glendale-trained UFC champion tosses harsh words, middle fingers at archrival Tuesday.

July 30, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Things got personal between Glendale Fighting Club-trained Ronda Rousey, left, and Miesha Tate at the Ultimate Fighting Championship's World Tour 2013 press conference at Club Nokia. Rousey will defend her UFC women's bantamweight championship against Tate on Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas live on pay-per-view.
Things got personal between Glendale Fighting Club-trained… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

LOS ANGELES — Decked out in a sharp business suit, Ronda Rousey looked to be all business on Tuesday.

But the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s women’s bantamweight champion and archrival Miesha Tate, as per usual with the adversaries, got personal as the UFC’s World Tour 2013 touched down in Los Angeles in front of a gathering of media and fans on Tuesday morning at Club Nokia.

“How is it not a rivalry?” said Rousey (7-0), the Glendale Fighting Club-trained champ who will face off once more with Tate (13-4) on Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas live on pay-per-view. “I have everything that she wants in life.”

The centerpiece, of course, as to what Tate wants and Rousey does not want to relinquish is the UFC title, which Rousey will defend for the second time after she was crowned champion before successfully defending her belt on Feb. 23 against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in the organization’s first-ever women’s fight. Rousey previously bested Tate on March 3, 2012 to wrestle away the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight strap.

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“She has a lot of things that I want, but that’s not what makes it a rivalry for me,” said Tate, who was on the receiving end of a Rousey middle finger on two occasions on stage Tuesday. “It’s really more of a personal thing.”

Tuesday was the second day of the five-day, 11-city UFC World Tour, which is no doubt the organization’s most ambitious media tour ever, serving to build up four pay-per-views that will conclude the calendar year.

It began Monday with stops in Las Vegas and the Bay Area and will continue through New York, Montreal, Houston, Sweden, Dallas, Chicago, London and Rio de Janeiro. Tuesday’s L.A. stop and Wednesday’s New York presser at the Beacon Theatre are the only two featuring the entire eight-fighter cavalcade. After Wednesday, Rousey and Tate will conclude their tour on Friday in Chicago.

In addition to Tate and Rousey, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, light heavyweight titlist Jon Jones and welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre were on hand, along with their respective opponents, Junior dos Santos, Alexander Gustafsson and Johny Hendricks.

“This is a special time. We’ve never had this many huge, great fights to end the year,” said UFC President Dana White of the impetus for the tour. “It was a unique opportunity, something we’ve never done before.”

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