Ronda Rousey: Fighting still her main focus, open to acting roles

Ronda Rousey of the U.S. talks about her upcoming UFC bantamweight title match against Holly Holm in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Just eight months after Australia’s Victoria state lifted its ban on cage fighting, the UFC has brought its showcase UFC 193 event Down Under, with the Rousey-Holm fight as its main event. (AP Photo Neil Frankland)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — For a woman who admits she never needs to work again and is being courted by Hollywood executives, Ronda Rousey has a decidedly modest plan to reward herself if she successfully defends her UFC bantamweight title against Holly Holm on Sunday.

“I want to get some vertical gardens in my house,” Rousey said Friday when asked what she’d treat herself to with her prize money. “I don’t think they’re that expensive though. But that’s what I want. I have simple tastes.”

Vertical gardens generally retail for as little as $100.

“I don’t have a (big) yard, it’s like a small little thing and I kind of wanted to put vertical gardens on my walls because I don’t really have many plants,” Rousey said. “I ordered some grass to come in so my dog could pee on it.”

The UFC has brought its showcase UFC 193 to Australia this week, with the Rousey-Holm fight overshadowing the men as the main event in front of an expected record UFC crowd.

The pair were involved in a minor scuffle Saturday at the weigh in after Rousey objected to Holm making contact with her face during their stare down.

As Rousey approached Holm for the stare down, the challenger put her fist in Rousey’s face and the champion responded with a raised elbow to swat her away.

“She put her fist on my face. I didn’t touch her, she touched me,” Rousey said afterward. “I told her that fake, sweet act … I can see right through it.”

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

At 28, Rousey has already competed in two Olympics, published her autobiography and is fast becoming a hot property in Hollywood. She has several movie credits to her name and new projects are linked to the fighter, including a remake of the 1989 Patrick Swayze action film Roadhouse, to be written and directed by veteran film maker Nick Cassavetes.

“He has described it so far as ‘Ninja Brockovich,'” Rousey said about Cassavetes’ plans for the movie.

While fighting has been her main focus, she said she’s very open to more acting roles.

“I’ve been doing three title fights back to back in the last nine months, and while I’m in camp I’m pretty much all cut off from the Hollywood world,” Rousey said. “So after I’m done beating Holly I’ll have a chunk of time when I’ll be able to entertain that whole world and see what’s going on and spend a lot more time on that.”

The UFC 193 main card also features a straw-weight title bout between Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Canadian Valerie Letourneau, as well as men’s heavyweights Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva, and middleweights Uriah Hall and Robert Whittaker.

Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium has been transformed from a 56,000-seat Australian rules football venue to an auditorium holding close to 75,000 seats for the event and a full house would easily eclipse the 55,724 fans who attended UFC 129 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre in 2011.

To cater to the UFC’s regular Saturday night U.S. television slot, the card will begin Sunday morning in Melbourne, with the main card scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. local time (10 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. HST).

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