In an excellent new interview with MMA Fighting, UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey seemed undaunted by the prospect of being booed on Saturday night when she rematches rival Miesha Tate at UFC 168 in Las Vegas.
"When I did judo I was booed in thirty different countries all over the world. I didn't know what a cheer was until I started doing MMA," she laughed.
"I spent my entire life being the bad guy. If I hear some boos, I mean, I've had some of the best performances of my life being booed terribly. Like, I was in the Pan-Am games in Rio and they actually had to bring in riot police because one of the finals between Cuba and Brazil. And, I was fighting Brazil in the finals. Those were some boos, OK? They had riot police on stand-by. That was a real booing crowd and I fought above myself that day. That's an environment where I do great. So, you know what? Let there be some boos. Let there be people be extra excited and let there be some tension in the crowd. That's what really makes an exciting arena. That's what I want."
Similarly, Rousey says that having intense rivalries and feuds, like she has with Tate, only help sharpen her focus. The champion doubts that her opponent is seasoned enough to turn that negativity into a positive.
"I've had rivalries ever since I was a little kid," Rousey explained.
"Like, when I was doing the junior nationals as a kid there would always be that one little girl that would always make it to the finals. I've spent my whole career thriving off of these rivalries. It gets me excited ... I've dealt with this my whole life and this is relatively new to [Tate]."