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Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate have final pleasantries before UFC 168 title fight

Mixed martial arts: Glendale-trained UFC women's champion, archrival say they're motivated, emotionally ready for Saturday's co-main event.

December 26, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • UFC champion Ronda Rousey is looking forward to defending her MMA championship on Saturday. (Raul Roa/File Photo)
UFC champion Ronda Rousey is looking forward to defending…

Though much of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and Miesha “Cupcake” Tate’s rivalry has been fueled by harsh words, their final words at Thursday’s the UFC 168 pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas were rather pedestrian in comparison to the past.

With UFC 168 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas headlined by middleweight champion Chris Weidman’s rematch against Anderson Silva and those two taking center stage, along with the always entertaining Josh Barnett stealing the show, Rousey and Tate very much stuck to their guns without a whole lot of histrionics accompanying them.

Rousey (7-0), who trains at the Glendale Fighting Club under lead trainer Edmond Tarverdyan, said she is “reinvigorated” as it relates to fighting following the filming of “The Expendables 3” and “Fast and Furious 7,” with her hectic schedule and the doubts of her properly preparing for a rematch against Tate (13-4) serving as further motivation.

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“I feel great for this fight. It’s been a long layoff between the two [fights] and I’ve really been able to reinvigorate my enthusiasm,” said Rousey, who defeated Liz Carmouche in February via first-round armbar in the first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bout, which also served as the first-ever UFC women’s bantamweight title fight. “Even though it’s complicated and it’s crazy and it takes a lot of energy, that’s the environment where I really thrive.

“I couldn’t have been more excited to start up camp again. This is where I belong; this is where I feel right.”

And the craziness that was her schedule and the doubt that accompanied it served as necessary motivation to prepare for a rematch with an opponent she had already disposed of.

“I wanted to make it more difficult on myself,” Rousey said. “I want every single time that I have a fight coming up, there to be a reason for people to doubt me.”

As for Tate, after her Strikeforce championship loss to Rousey in March of 2012 via first-round armbar, she reiterated that the bad blood and trash talk leading up to the first bout affected her in a way that will not on Saturday evening.

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