After spending several weeks with a former boxing world champion, mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey got a different view of the world of boxing.
“I really adore boxing,” said Rousey.
While working on the film “Expendables 3” with Sylvester Stallone, the UFC bantamweight champion Rousey met Ventura’s Victor Ortiz on set and the two became instant friends.
“I saw the previews of it (Expendables 3) this morning,” said Rousey while meeting several reporters for a small media luncheon last week in a downtown L.A. hotel J.W. Marriott. “It was cool.”
Now, Rousey (7-0) heads to Las Vegas for UFC 168 where she will fight Meisha Tate (13-4) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday Dec. 28. It’s a rematch between the two female fighters and the championship fight will be televised on pay-per-view.
Shooting for Expendables ended in late October, then, she went to shoot for Fast and Furious 7 for 10 days. She also worked on conditioning during the off-time.
“I trained more with Victor Ortiz. Kind of the young guns. We would all go to the gym together a lot,” said Rousey, who won a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics in judo. “Me and victor were charging in.”
When asked about Ortiz all she could do was smile and chuckle.
“Victor, Victor, Victor. He was kind of like the little class clown. I think every time he got nervous he would randomly yell 69,” said Rousey. “One day he was really nervous. The director was giving us instructions and he said ‘Victor, honestly, if you say that one more time.’ And Victor said ‘What? What? 69!’”
That would crack up the cast members and Rousey. But it was not all laughs. Well, mostly, but not all.
“We would run up these mountains in Bulgaria and he would run up next to me and yell ‘And still…’ I love this kid. He’s awesome. It was kind of cool to have that camaraderie,” Rousey said.
Not only doe’s Rousey fight on Saturday, but in January, Ortiz also has a match planned against Luis Collazo. The female MMA star and boxer shared their skills.
“We did a lot of clinching stuff together. We found this little boxing gym in Bulgaria. He would run around and I would try to catch him,” Rousey said. “Boxers have marvelous footwork.”
But in the end Rousey would catch up to Ortiz, who is not the only boxer that the blonde warrior has worked with in the past. She often shows up in Glendale or in Big Bear Lake. But, working with Ortiz has made her appreciate the technique needed for boxing in the upper echelons.
“You get a better appreciation when you’re around the guys who are at the top of the sport,” she said. Plus: “He’s like my big little brother. We were born within hours of each other.”
Rousey says that many have proclaimed her opponent Tate has many new weapons in her arsenal. The UFC female champion response is that she has also added more weaponry including boxing moves and punches to make her an even more powerful athlete.