Will Holly Holm be the first woman to beat Ronda Rousey at UFC 193? Eh, not likely, but she might join an impressive list of people who’ve faced and lost to the current UFC Champion.
ESPN spoke with some of Ronda Rousey’s former opponents to get a sense of what it’s like to be in he ring with the possibly the greatest fighter walking the planet. Here’s some of the more interesting quotes..
When I’ve fought other girls, I look into their eyes, their breathing and the way they move, and a lot of times I get a sense they’re pushing themselves to be alpha. What I got from Ronda was an actual warrior mode, like you’re exposing your heart and putting yourself into a position of vulnerability — and at the same time, you have complete confidence. I thought it was really interesting, she was the first person that I felt was on the same level as me when it came to that. There was nothing false in it. — Cat Zingano
She just starts pure 100. She’s mentally just on, terrified and fighting for her life when the bell starts. I wasn’t prepared for that — even though, I was 100 percent prepared for that, if that makes sense? It’s almost inexplicable. You just don’t think she can start that fast. I mean, you know she starts fast, but you’re in there saying, “I’m ready. My eyes are open. I’m warmed up.” But even then, it’s like, “Oh, there she goes.” — Sarah Kaufman
The goal at hand is to make history. Personally, I decided to go out and try something that hadn’t been done before. If anyone knew how to beat Ronda, they would have done it by now. People have tried different approaches. My approach was, “OK, no one has ever gone at her, guns blazing, before.” Obviously, it didn’t work out. That approach can be checked off the list, I guess. — Cat Zingano
To me, her reactionary times felt as quick as the guys at our pro practice. She was so fast. I trained at Team Quest and I probably only felt an armbar go that fast once before. — Autumn King
What impresses me is how fast she finishes people. She’s going for every chance and she’s setting a pace that is really hard for people to maintain. She knows she doesn’t have to set it for 25 minutes because she’s finishing people. — Sara McMann
A lot of people will come up and say, “Hey, cool you fought Ronda” and I’m like, “Yeah but I didn’t do well.” That’s a hard thing because people see it as, well, the fact you even stepped in the cage with her is cool, which takes away from what I do in the sport. People are like, “don’t feel bad, it’s Ronda.” Well, I think I can be the best in the world, so that’s kind of insulting. It’s almost like a pat on the back, you joined a kid’s softball team and lost, but at least you swung the bat! I don’t know if women would be in the UFC right now though, honestly, if I had beaten Ronda. And that’s kind of a knock on myself but I don’t think we’d be where we are. So, I look at is I took a sacrifice for the better good of women’s mixed martial arts. — Sarah Kaufman
Most of the ladies admit defeat but also put out there that they could’ve beaten Ronda, she isn’t as intense or confident as people think and hint at wanting another shot at her down the line. They’re professional fighters, what the hell were they supposed to say? “Yeah, she beat my ass. I had no chance. Thank christ I never have to face her again.”
To read all the quotes, check out the full piece at ESPN.
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