UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey has been in a number of high-pressure situations over her life and come out triumphant more often than not. She also appears to have ice water running through her veins most of the time, especially when it comes to competition. However, the situation is slightly different when it comes to Rousey’s upcoming role as a coach on the Ultimate Fighter 18.
“I’ve coached doing judo before, but I’ve never coached MMA. I’ll have my own coach with me to help me along the way and I can’t really fail with him by my side, but I’m a little nervous,” Rousey confessed in a conversation with Bleacher Report, saying the job was somewhat out of her comfort zone. “As an athlete you’re taught to be selfish. When I’m training, it’s usually all about me, but now I’ll have to be a little selfless because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of these kids, so I can’t spend that time and that opportunity just focused on myself. It’ll be new to put other fighters’ needs in front of my own.”
While Rousey knows she has a challenge ahead of her, the dynamic 26-year old is willing to accept it head on in large part due to the future dividends she feels the move may pay. Rousey is the biggest face of women’s MMA and the primary the reason the UFC is featuring female fighters. Of course, “Rowdy” Ronda can’t do it alone for her division to remain a sustainable commodity, and TUF 18 has potential to produce additional talent to help ease the pressure the Californian currently feels.
“It’s going to bring a lot of other women visibility and have the fans get to know them so I don’t have the lion’s share of the marketing anymore,” explained Rousey. “I want women’s MMA to thrive and be here to stay. I don’t want it to be dependent on one person. You don’t hear about if Anderson Silva loses they may get rid of his entire division…That’s how I want women’s MMA to be. I want it to be where if I retire, fans will be like, ‘Whatever, we have several other people coming up that we know.’”
“This TUF is the perfect way to address that issue and take a lot of the load off of my shoulders and share it with the other girls that not only need it, but they want it and are willing to fight for it,” she concluded.
Auditions for TUF 18 are set to take place in a few weeks with the show airing in Fall 2013. The winner of a bout between Miesha Tate-Cat Zingano at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale will earn the coaching slot opposite Rousey’s.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE