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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey rose up the ranks quickly as much because of her dominant and vicious victories as her mouth outside the cage. Taking cues from Chael Sonnen, Rousey wasn't afraid to speak her mind about several fighters and where she felt she stood in the division, and it got her opportunities she wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
"Before I came along it seemed like a Miss America pageant to me," Rousey said of women's MMA in an interview with BleacherReport.com's Matt Roth on Friday. "Like 'oh yes, I want world peace and this girl is very nice and the other day we sat down and brushed each other's hair. We were going to watch the Fifth Element but Ronda took the DVD so we were forced to watch not a good movie.' It was just so boring."
"So I looked at what all the guys were doing and what was working. Chael's a good example. The way that he fights is not the most exciting ever so he found a way to supplement that. If I can be an exciting fighter and do all these other things then everything is going to take off."
There are a few differences between the two, of course. Rousey believes she just ratchets her own personality up a few notches, while Sonnen puts on a show once the cameras are on. Also, just because she's taken some cues from him outside the cage, it doesn't mean she's got much confidence in "The American Gangster" into tonight's title rematch with Anderson Silva.
"I think that Anderson Silva pissed off and healthy is going to destroy Chael," she said. "I think a lot of questions will be answered in this fight. I'm excited and so is everyone else."
Penick's Analysis: Rousey running her mouth was a smart move on her part. She only had a few fights under her belt, but she had a fantastic skill set, she was immensely marketable from a looks standpoint, and getting her personality out there more in interviews and more raised her profile. It was smart to recognize how much Sonnen was able to raise his profile, then utilize that herself in a slightly different manner to do the same. That said, appreciation for the marketing aspect of the sport doesn't mean she's blinded by it, and her take on Silva and how the fight will go is one shared by many.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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