UFC World Champion Ronda Rousey had arrived in Yerevan on April 22 to pay tribute to the Armenian Genocide victims and to attend Armenian Genocide Centennial events.
Ronda Rousey is current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion, who has had 11 professional fights and has attained victory in all of them.
Ronda won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing (China) becoming the first U.S. woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo.
Ronda Rousey trains under Gokor Chivichyan of the Hayastan MMA Academy and Edmond Tarverdyan of the Glendale Fighting Club.
Other than sport, Ronda is known for her roles in “Furious 7,” “The Expendables 3” and “Entourage” films.
We present Mediamax Sport’s interview with Ronda Rousey.
-Ronda, you are undefeated in mixed martial arts. Every time I watch your fights, I expect to see the end of the fight in less than 60 seconds!!! How do you feel about your opponents in the ring?
-I really do not know any feeling when I am in there. I don’t have any other extra space in my brain. I’m entirely in the present moment – what I do is to understand what’s happening and make decisions. I don’t have time to have emotions.
-Are they your rivals? Enemies or what?
-They are a problem to be solved.
-Would you describe yourself as an aggressive person?
-I would say that I’m an aggressive fighter, but in general as I train all day long I don’t have any aggression left as a result. In general, no, I’m not an aggressive person at all.
- MMA is considered to be a rude sport. What exactly attracted you in MMA?
-I took part in the Olympics Games in Beijing in won the bronze medal in judo. In U.S. we don’t really take care of our Olympians. There were no job placements or scholarships. I was working as a bartender. I thought maybe MMA would work out.
- Has anything changed in people’s minds about female MMA in the recent years?
-There’s a huge improvement in the women’s side because women’s combat sports has the same kind of competitions as the men’s. In men’s combat sports if you are a lead athlete you will go into boxing, kickboxing or make money doing all those. For women right now only MMA makes money. So women’s MMA is improving much faster than the men’s sport in that stage.
-Ronda, who is your idol in sports? Who inspires you?
-My favorite athlete is Fedor Emelianenko. I was admiring the way he fights. But in general, I would say I am inspired with my mother who was a world champion in judo. She is the best example I can ever have.
-Asked whether she considers you her main opponent, your rival Miesha Tate said in an interview to Mediamax Sport: “Yes, Ronda has a difficult style for me, but she does not punch very hard, so I think someone who punches harder would be tougher.” Who is Miesha Tate for you?
-I don’t really know why she said that I don’t punch that hard. Maybe it was so hard that she forgot it. It may make sense (laughs).
-Have you ever used your fighting know-how to defend yourself outside of the ring?
-Yeah, when I was younger and more foolish (smiles).
-There are not so many young girls in Armenia engaged in mixed martial arts. But your visit might inspire many. What would recommend them?
-I don’t think every woman should have the same ambitions I have. But every woman should know that it’s ok to be ambitious – to do anything they want to do and go ahead and make it happen. There are no professions only for men or women, and every person can do anything he or she wants.
-Ronda, you are surrounded by Armenians in the U.S. Both your coach and your teammates are Armenians. When did you first hear about Armenia?
-I was like 12 years old. It was quite exciting to train with all those Armenian guys. I think I felt the most comfortable there than in other places where I trained. And my mentality was more suitable for there than for anywhere else. It was quite unexpected for lots of people, but I felt good at that environment.
-Describe your coach Edmond Tarverdyan in one sentence.
-He is a black and white person. There is no grey area with this man. There is right and there is wrong – just that (laughs).
-This is your first visit to Armenia. What conclusions did you draw regarding Armenia?
-Every single building we passed by is older than the U.S. Everything here exceeded all my expectations. I knew that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Turkish government in 1915. But I was unaware it has not been widely accepted. It’s not an entire Turkish thing, it’s a human thing. Genocide is a very tragic part of a human behavior and we should sure it will not be repeated. But we should first accept it and learn lessons. If we ignore, the exact opposite thing will happen.
Ronda Rousey was interviewed by Narine Daneghyan