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Ronda Rousey on Sara McMann: 'I don't think she really wanted' to be UFC champ

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Esther Lin

LOS ANGELES - You can analyze the X's and O's of what goes into making a champion all day if you'd like.

But UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey says she simply wants to be the champion more than her opponents.

Specifically, Rousey said she wanted it more than her last foe, Sara McMann.

Rousey was asked at a Friday UFC 175 media luncheon about what it takes to stay at the top of the heap. The undefeated bantamweight champion singled out McMann, whom she defeated in just over a minute at UFC 170, as an example of a fighter who she felt didn't have her heart into going through the championship grind.

"I think that could have been what happened to Sara McMann," said Rousey, who meets Alexis Davis next weekend in Las Vegas. "I don't think she really wanted what came along with being the UFC champion. She did, really, zero media for the whole thing, because she felt like the media would interfere with her training. Well, the media needs to be part of her training."

Rousey explained that she considers her media obligations to be an extension of her training camp, since cameras follow the fighters all over the building on fight night whether or not they want them there.

"When it comes down to it, when it comes to the day that you're fighting, you could have avoided the cameras all that you want," Rousey said. "But they're in there in that locker room with you, and they're in your face while you're walking out. And they're filming you when you're fighting. And so of all the preparation that you've done that had no cameras involved, when they are involved, it's not going to be the same. A lot of people aren't going to want that and aren't ready for it and they're not going to enjoy it."

The former Olympic medalist said that her challengers often find that once they get there, the limelight isn't quite what they thought it would be

"I think a lot of these chicks, they think it would be nice to be champion," Rousey said. "But, once you start doing the buildup and the work that comes with being a champion, a lot of people realize that this isn't the lifestyle for them."