Ronda Rousey On Her Big UFC Fight and Making 'Furious 7' With Paul Walker
By Susan Hornik
Photo: Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated
This is what a fighter looks like, and she’s not looking for anyone to make it easy on her.
Fresh off her sexy Sports Illustrated swimsuit spread, badass Olympic bronze medalist and undefeated women's MMA Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey is more than ready for her big UFC 184 fight with challenger Cat Zingano Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles.
"Cat Zingano is the most high quality opponent I think I have ever come across," Rousey said. "She is not just undefeated, she is the most well-rounded person I have ever fought. She comes from a wrestling background, is a jiu jitsu black belt, but also is well known for her muay thai. I have always been looking for a real dancing partner that will allow me to show off everything I am capable of."
As if the spectacle of a UFC fight isn't dramatic enough, Rosey's also been busy making movies. Last year, she beat up the bad guys in Expendables 3. In April she'll make her Fast and Furious debut in Furious 7, in which she appears with Paul Walker, who died in a car accident midway through making the film. "He was a very sweet and kind person," she said. She also goes toe-to-toe with Michelle Rodriguez.
"They were so understanding about my situation as a fighter," Rousey added of fitting Furious into her packed schedule. She had only 10 days between making Expendables 3 and starting six weeks of training for a fight, but the producers fit in enough scenes to set up her character for potential future installments.
"People get to know her and can expect to see more of her further down in the franchise," Rousey said. "It was an amazing experience, and I love seeing such respect for athletes in every single industry."
She'll also play herself in the Entourage movie this June. "It’s a little easier to play yourself, since no one can tell you how to do it better than you can," she said. "You are the expert of yourself!"
Rosey's stunning bikini shots in Sports Illustrated weren’t quite as flawless as they look. "The best lighting is right when the sun is rising and setting and those are the times when it’s most freezing. When people went to lunch, I wanted to go into a hot tub. I was thinking that the camera would look blurry because I was shaking so much!"
And there’s a memoir in the works, written by Rousey's sister, Maria Burns Ortiz, an award-winning sports writer. "I was approached to write a book, and I felt like no one could really capture my voice like she could. It was a cool experience to spend that much time with my sister. But, funny, by the end of it, she was like, 'You know what? I don’t want to hear about you ever again!'" Rousey jokes. "We put it all on hold until I finished camp. The first draft is done and we'll get it done after I win the fight."