Ronda Rousey would fight at a catchweight, but only against Gina Carano

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

DALLAS -- Go ahead and count Ronda Rousey among those who'd like to see the next defense of her UFC women's bantamweight title come against former Strikeforce superstar Gina Carano.

"I would love that. I've always said that, I never would've found women's MMA if I hadn't seen her fight," Rousey told reporters in Dallas on Friday.

"To fight her would be a real honor and I think that'd be a milestone for the sport. But, I mean, you can't fight for anyone but yourself. I wouldn't want her to fight for any other reason than if she wants to fight. It's a personal decision for everyone."

It's been nearly five years since Carano left mixed martial arts for the bright lights of Hollywood, yet speculation continues to swirl regarding her prospective comeback.

For her part, Rousey said that despite Carano's lengthy layoff, she believes the former fighter turned actress would absolutely deserve an immediate UFC title shot if she were to return, because of "everything that she's done for the sport and the pioneer that she is."

Additionally, Rousey stated that she would be open to fighting at a catchweight with Carano, who fought the majority of her career at 145 pounds, despite it being a compromise Rousey has historically resisted for other challengers, such as Invicta FC champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos.

"There are exceptions that I would make for Gina that I wouldn't make for anyone else," Rousey said.

Rousey (9-0), who recently defeated Miesha Tate and Sara McMann in back-to-back training camps, is currently eyeing a summer return date for the fourth defense of her UFC title. And if the Carano fight proves to be a pipe dream, she already has an idea about who she'd like to square off against next.

"I still feel that Cat Zingano is next," Rousey said. "I feel like she is the No. 1 contender, and I saw a statement from her management saying that she'll be ready in June."

For Rousey, after steamrolling through a hectic 2013 schedule which consisted of fighting, dabbling in Hollywood, and filming The Ultimate Fighter, the leisurely pace of the past few weeks has served as a much-needed chance to recharge her batteries.

Nonetheless the first female UFC champion continues to land in the headlines for a variety of reasons, from the reasonable, such as speculation regarding her next opponent, to the absurd, like a recent quarrel with UFC Octagon girl Arianny Celeste.

"That whole Arianny thing, those comments from the Maxim thing, that was from 12 months ago. Did it just take her a year to come up with a comeback? I mean, why is this coming up now?," Rousey remarked.

"They made grammatical sense, which is good for her."

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