LOS ANGELES----Quirky, intelligent and as open as the pages of a newspaper, Ronda Rousey steals the show wherever she appears.
Even at the press conference that included two others.
Rousey, 26, arrived with her next challenger Sara McMann, 33, to hype UFC 170, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Feb. 22. Light heavyweight contender D.C. Cormier showed up too at Flemings steakhouse in L.A. Live.
When Rousey talks, people do listen as she speaks about eye colors, Cuban judo, her prettier sisters and her tomboy life. She’s the Jennifer Lawrence of mixed martial arts. Whatever comes to her quick-snap mind is what she says. It’s lured her into troubled waters but nothing too serious that could endanger her career as a streaking MMA star.
Now the blonde judo warrior meets another Olympic medal winner in McMann, who stood out as a wrestler in the 2004 Olympic Games. It’s the battle of Mount Olympus.
“You don’t pit one sport against another sport,” said McMann, when asked if it would be a test of judo versus wrestling. “There are so many different factors.”
When asked if she would be confrontational with McMann, Rousey answered, “It’s difficult when you fight against someone you respect.”
McMann seemed to relish the media attention that comes with her first title fight against the leader of the female fighter’s movement. She also admires the way that Rousey handles the constant barrage of questions and interaction.
Cormier, who will fight Rashad Evans, said he knows both former Olympians and is quite excited about seeing them perform against each other.
“These are women that have done things that most women only dreamed about,” said Cormier, who was an Olympic teammate of Rousey’s for two Olympics and with McMann for one. “These girls are unbelievable athletes.”
Rousey surveyed her thoughts when asked if it’s just another fight or does it compare to her previous fight with Miesha Tate.
“I have to approach her differently,” admitted Rousey in a rare deliberate response, “than Miesha.”
It was not too much of a Jennifer Lawrence moment. Well, maybe Jennifer Lawrence is the Ronda Rousey of the movie world?
Ronda tidbits: Her two favorite boxers are Victor Ortiz and Gennady Golovkin. “He’s a good boy.”
Rousey’s sister is a journalist.
Her birthday is Feb. 1, the day Golovkin defends the IBO middleweight title against Osumanu Adama in Monte Carlos, Monaco.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?