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Ronda Rousey's road to UFC 168

Mixed martial arts: Glendale-trained Rousey will defend her UFC belt Saturday in a heated matchup with rival Miesha Tate; here's a fight by fight look at how the 'Rowdy' one got to this point.

December 24, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • UFC champion Ronda Rousey, left, is looking to defeat top contender Miesha Tate for a second time. (Raul Roa/File Photo)
UFC champion Ronda Rousey, left, is looking to defeat…

In the aftermath of just two minutes and 18 seconds of a professional mixed martial arts career, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey proclaimed herself ready, willing, able and destined to be the next Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion.

Miesha Tate, the reigning champion and a veteran of 14 pro fights, didn’t see things in quite the same light.

If Rousey’s Olympic judo pedigree, utter domination of four opponents and cover girl beauty wasn’t enough to make some noise, her equally brash and eloquent words very well would.

“I knew that I could win the title the day that I started and the quickest I could get it, the better,” Rousey told the Glendale News-Press before the fight, “and if getting a couple more entertaining interviews than some of the other girls helps me out, then I want to do that.”

Tate argued that Rousey hadn’t done enough to warrant a title shot and was talking her way into one when former champion Sarah Kaufman, or even contender Alexis Davis, were more worthy of the opportunity.

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“At this point this is the biggest, the best fight, the biggest selling point, the most draw, everything else you know in the big picture that is better for women's mixed martial arts in the sense of attention that it's getting,” Tate said on a conference call prior to their first bout.”So you know I can appreciate that fact, you know, but I'm still not budging on who I really feel earned what, I don't feel that Ronda has really earned her position. You can come in and even if you are one of the best of the sport, it doesn't matter until you really prove it and I don't feel that she's proved that yet.”

But the Strikeforce powers that be decided otherwise and the seeds were planted for a build-up and a bout on March 3, 2012 that would forever alter women’s MMA.

Tate would be the first to extend Rousey’s reign of destruction past a minute. But she would be the fifth to succumb to an armbar and the fifth not to last past the first round, as she begrudgingly tapped out at the 4:27 mark of the opening stanza.

Now, the rolls have reversed.

Rousey is the champion, still unblemished two bouts later at 7-0 with none of her bouts yet to extend past the first round and nary an opponent able to withstand her armbar without submitting.

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