UFC star Ronda Rousey gave an emotional response when the subject of performance-enhancing drug use, and the idea sports fans don't care, during a guest appearance on the Jim Rome on Showtime show Wednesday night.
When Rome brought up that fans don't care about PED use in sports, Rousey thought that was a negative reflection of fans.
"That seems like a terrible fan to me," she said, in a panel discussion that included former NFL player Dhani Jones, and famous sports psychologist Dr. Harry Edwards. "The fans should care about the athletes and the athletes' well being. They should care if the athlete feels pressure that they need to somehow do all these drugs to be good enough for them. Why can't I be good enough for you just the way that I am? I shouldn't have to put my health at risk in order to entertain you."
Cristiane Santos' name never came up in the response, but steroid use is hardly an unspoken aspect when it comes to Rousey vs. Cyborg, the potentially biggest women's fight rivalry in history. Santos, with her unnatural muscularity for a man, let alone a woman, failed a steroid test after her last fight 14 months ago. Rousey has stated numerous times that she feels it has made Santos' career success a fraud.
She was also upset at those who come up with rationales why it's not so bad.
"No, it is putting your health at risk," said the UFC women's bantamweight champion. "It's the kind of people who say, 'Oh, everybody else is doing it,' `Oh, it's just the system.' That's the kind of things people say to make it okay, to justify it to themselves.
"So, I don't care, you can take as many drugs as you want, and I'm going to have to be good enough to beat you."
Still, Rousey has insisted on having Santos fight at 135 pounds, figuring that some of any advantages she would think Santos has in strength would be negated by having to cut down in weight.
"Certain people are always going to feel like they aren't good enough," she said. "Ultimately, it comes down to insecurity. If you feel the best that you have isn't good enough to make it, that insecurity is going to push you into making those decisions to take those drugs. And those are the kind of athletes who aren't going to be that good, anyway. If you think like that, you're never going to be the best anyway. I'd like to try and have faith in people and think the best of the best aren't really going to do that."
Rousey was adamant that sports in general should be taking a hard line when it comes to testing and discouraging use.
"We should try and catch those people who are cheating, because the second we give up and stop pursuing them, then we stop supporting the athletes that really matter," Rousey said.