LOS ANGELES -- Remember back over the summer, when Ronda Rousey was being asked over and over whether she'd be able to juggle the responsibilities of a movie shoot while also having to prepare for her Dec. 28th fight against Miesha Tate?
At the time, Rousey insisted she knows how to multi-task, that she'd stay in shape, and return to California in time for a full camp.
Fast forward a few months, and the UFC women's bantamweight champion's words appear to have come true. Rousey brought Shayna Baszler over to Bulgaria to help train while she was shooting "The Expendables 3." But it turns out her most productive sparring sessions came with a fellow "Expendables" castmate, boxing star Victor Ortiz.
"I didn't train much with [fellow castmate] Randy [Couture]," Rousey said during a recent media luncheon promoting UFC 168. "I trained more with Victor Ortiz. I was kind of with the young guys, as opposed to the veterans. We all showed up at the gym together."
Rousey says she learned a thing or two from the former WBC welterweight champion, while trying to give him a few pointers on ground fighting.
"We did it in the middle of a boxing club in the middle of Bulgaria," Rousey said. "We'd move around the ring and I would have to try to catch him. It was really good working on pure boxing with someone on his level. ... Then we hit the ground and I got to show him a little bit of what that was like."
Rousey says that Ortiz, who also lives in Southern California, will be coming out to UFC 168, and that she plans on going to Ortiz's next fight. Ultimately, though, by the end of the shoot in Bulgaria, the champ was ready to return to her home camp, the Glendale Fighting Club.
"I was sitting around Bulgaria going ‘man, I miss my gym,'" Rousey said. "I miss getting up at five in the morning and getting my coffee and being the first in my gym and unlocking the doors and the gym is empty and everything is dark. I missed that part of it. It's nice by the time I got back, it was the best thing I could have done to shake me out of The Ultimate Fighter funk and that environment, it was part of a special time and achievement."
With that, onto another edition of Fightweets.
What if 'Spider' wins next week?
It would be kind of amusing if Silva took to the mic and announced an indefinite hiatus from the sport, simply to watch Dana White's head explode on the spot, wouldn't it? Seriously, though, it depends on how the fight goes. If it's a back-and-forth classic, that would all but demand a trilogy fight. If it's a no-doubt-about-it, Silva proves UFC 162 to be a lucky punch-type finish, you probably can't go right back to a trilogy fight.
But you probably could go to a rematch with Vitor Belfort. While Silva is finicky about his opponents and hasn't expressed any desire to fight Belfort again, considering he face-kicked him halfway back to Brazil last time, Silva vs. Belfort is a stadium-level draw in Brazil, which just might be the sort of appeal to Silva's ego that gets him to agree.
Title shot for Nurmy?
Next year? Not too likely. Champion Anthony Pettis is going to be out for the first half of 2014. There's still a logjam of top guys from T.J. Grant to Josh Thomson to Benson Henderson to Gilbert Melendez ahead of Khabib. So he's not exactly next in line at the moment. Now, if you take the "next year" off your question? Maybe. I wouldn't count him out. He's undefeated and he's passed every test he's faced up until this point. Nurmagomedov has earned the right to fight one of the division's bigger names and prove whether he can get to the next level. But given the champion's surgery and the pool of contenders, even if all goes well for Nurmy, you're probably looking at 2015 at the earliest before he's really in the title picture.
Bigfoot Silva flunks test
@justoslice: What does Bigfoot prove by suing? Regardless, every professional athlete should be responsible for what goes into their body.
Good question. He's trying to clear his name, obviously. But all it seems do to at first glance is try to shine some light through quite a bit of murky water. Isn't it a bit odd that these things seem to pop up on the UFC's international cards, the ones they're attempting to regulate on their own? And that doctor in question, Marcio Tannure, runs the commission in Brazil, where Belfort has put in his, umm, age-defying performances? And that it appears a conflict of interest for Tannure to work with the UFC?
And this doesn't take into account whether Silva's condition, acromegaly -- the same one that caused the late wrestler Andre the Giant, who didn't treat his condition, to grow to grotesque proportions -- makes Silva one of the rare fighters who might actually have a legit claim to use TRT. I'm not a doctor and don't claim to know.
Throw all of this muck together, and I'm sure there will be more if this lawsuit actually plays out, and I think the conclusion should be that it's time to throw out TRT altogether. They current system, in which they're tested along the way, was an honest attempt at a first step, but it's just not working out.
@dpop2: Now that Silva flunked a drug test what are your thoughts on the fight??
A couple weeks ago, I watched the "10th inning" edition of Ken Burns' Baseball, the one that deals with the 90s and onward. A big part of the story, of course, was classic home run-record chase with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. It was super exciting at the time. In hindsight? While it was still an important time in bringing fans back around after the 1994 strike, the moment is kind of lost. And that's even with the knowledge that steroids weren't banned by baseball at the time.
Will we look at Hunt vs. Bigfoot differently years down the road? In a weird way, I think when we discuss fights in which fighters flunk drug tests afterwards, the result of the fight actually makes a difference. Look at Josh Barnett's UFC title win over Couture in 2002, in which he steamrolled Couture and then tested hot. That fight isn't looked back upon as a great moment in history. On the other hand, the fact that Hunt held on and pushed through for five rounds against a fighter with elevated testosterone and came out with a draw, I mean, that's pretty much the most Mark Hunt thing ever, isn't it? Everything about this fight as out of the ordinary, so in a weird way, I can picture people watching this fight 10 years from now and still enjoy in a way that other bouts tainted by post-fight test results weren't.
@ASimpNamedPlaya: What's the deal with Cung Le?
Anyone else here that question in Jerry Seinfeld's voice? Anyway, Cung's been working on The Ultimate Fighter: China in specific and more generally been working as a goodwill ambassador for the UFC in Asia. White effusively praised Le's work on the front at one of his recent scrums (I can't remember which one. They all blend together, especially when they've lasted about 45 minutes and there's always one or two reporters who didn't pick up on the cues that everyone is ready for the scrum to end, and insist on peppering him with questions like What are your plans for the flyweight division in 2027? But I digress).
@auggie85: Your thoughts on #1 contenders sitting out waiting? Should contender status have a time frame to keep the division moving?
@auggie85: Referring to Werdum given the option to wait. What if Browne goes on a streak and is more impressive?
I agree. First off, I'm not 100 percent sold on the idea that Werdum is the clear-cut number one contender. If Travis Browne rolls over Josh Barnett next week, and has impressive wins over Barnett, Alistair Overeem, and Gabriel Gonzaga all in a row, hasn't he stated his case? And Barnett rolls over Browne, for what would be his 11th win in 12 fights? I understand Werdum has been on a nice run himself, but he's only fought once in the past 18 months. You can't freeze time forever waiting for his shot. Cain Velasquez is going to be out for awhile, so it seems that Werdum against the Browne-Barnett winner, with the winner of that one coming out as Cain's next victim (whoops, I mean opponent), seems to make sense. Or, hell, the UFC is going to need headliners in the expanded 2014 schedule. A Werdum-Junior dos Santos rematch seems tailor-made for Brazil.
Bellator > UFC?
@bionuce:Any current bellator card>singapore card. What's the deal with that?
Bjorn? Are you going by "bionuce" these days?
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