Even before she was the Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey well knew the demands of a regimented training schedule that culminated in high-stakes competition.
Rousey applied the same work ethic gleaned from her Olympic
medal-winning run in judo to mixed martial arts. But in the midst of a stint
with the Cesar Gracie Fight Team in Stockton, Calif., she's learning a different
Namely, she gets to sleep in before training. Gracie disciples
and UFC fighters Nick and Nate Diaz aren't exactly early risers.
their schedule," Rousey on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com Radio
(www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "When I'm home, I have, like, three training sessions
where I've got to meet this person at 5 a.m., and this person at 10 and have to
be at this place at 8 p.m.
"By (training during the) day, they mean
after 2 (p.m.)."
Following a 48-hour PR jaunt in San Diego in support of
her first title defense against Sarah Kaufman (15-1 MMA, 6-1 SF), which takes
place Aug. 18 at the beach city's Valley View Casino Center, Rousey (5-0 MMA,
3-0 SF) gets back to her usual grind beginning in July when she returns to her
native Los Angeles to work with her "armos" at Team Hayastan in North Hollywood
and Glendale Fighting Club.
While she admitted that setting her own
schedule might be a bad thing in the long run, it's been good to get a mix of
structure and freedom.
"In the interest of avoiding stagnating, you have
to change your environment whenever you can," Rousey said.
scenery was never a problem during her years of judo competition. Before she won
a bronze medial at the 2008 Olympics in China, she traveled around the world for
a variety of competitions and always had a fresh array of training partners. Her
early work in MMA, however, was limited by her wallet.
previously reported, Rousey, who won the Strikeforce title in March with a
first-round submission over Miesha Tate, worked the graveyard shift at 24-Hour
Fitness in Los Angeles and did physical therapy on dogs while teaching judo and
training to become a professional fighter.
Now a champion and one of the
sport's fastest-rising stars, Rousey isn't struggling to make ends meet. But
she's still learning new skills, particularly in the striking aspect of her job,
and learning to love things she used to hate.
"Nick made me go for my
first run in years," she laughed. "I don't run, but we ran miles, a bunch of us.
I'm not a triathlete, dude. I get bored."
Diaz, of course, is an
accomplished triathlete when he's not fighting inside the cage (and in the midst
of a yearlong suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he's got time
to compete). He recently convinced another team import, UFC featherweight Cody
McKenzie, to participate in his first triathlon.
But it might be a while
before Rousey is swimming, biking and running for hours on end. Short sprints,
she likes. Long distance, not so much.
"I used to be a swimmer before
judo, and it's like a long stamina thing," she said. "It doesn't keep me
mentally engaged. [I] have to get something where it's like MMA, where it takes
100 percent of your attention all the time. It's more my sport."
plenty of that, of course, within the walls of the gyms where Rousey and Team
Cesar Gracie work. There's less than two months until she fights on Showtime at
"Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman," so her camp is in full swing.
obviously a very good striker and she throws very straight punches," Rousey said
of her next opponent. "So what I would mostly be looking out for is her trying
to keep distance from me and keep it open to the standup game, which worked very
well in her fight against Miesha. She is obviously able to handle grapplers very
well, but then again, she's never dealt with anybody like me, so we'll see how
For more on the "Strikeforce:
Rousey vs. Kaufman" card, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
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