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Ronda Rousey: It's best for the rest of the division that they 'take their turns losing to me'

When Ronda Rousey is gone, she thinks the rest of the fighters in the division are going to miss getting trounced in the first round by her for a fat paycheck.

The dominant, undefeated UFC women's bantamweight champion said Wednesday at UFC 193 open workouts that playing second fiddle to her is going to be far more lucrative to her peers than them fighting each other for the belt in the future.

"I really feel like I've found my place and what I'm supposed to be doing," Rousey said. "I feel like it's better for all of us. This is my role for all the women in the division. It helps them all out that they all get to take their turns losing to me. They'll all make a lot more money that way. After I retire and they fight each other, they're not going to make as much money being the champion when I'm gone then they are being the contenders now."

Rousey (12-0) is the reason the UFC decided to add a women's division two years ago. Since then, she has taken the world -- not just MMA -- by storm. "Rowdy" has become a pop culture phenomenon, Hollywood movie star and the highest paid fighter in the sport. Much like it is for any foe of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing, facing Rousey is big business for her opponents.

Through that, she has maintained her dominance. Only one woman has been outside of the first round with her. Rousey's last three fights have ended in a combined 64 seconds.

The latest foe will be Holly Holm, the former three-division boxing champion and two-time Ring magazine female boxer of the year. The two meet in the main event of UFC 193 on Saturday night at cavernous Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The UFC is attempting to break its all-time attendance mark of 55,000. Etihad Stadium can hold upwards of 75,000 and the droves of fans showing up will be doing so mainly for Rousey.

A large crowd turned out Wednesday (Thursday afternoon in Melbourne) for open workouts. Rousey at one point lost her concentration while warming up with a jump-rope because of all the fans calling out to her.

"I really hope I deserve this," she said. "I'm trying my best to deserve it. I really, really am. Sometimes it's just like that you kind of get wrapped up in how amazing this all is. You get so wrapped up in the fight and it causes so much fear and anxiety and stress in you. You kind of lose sight of how amazing it is sometimes. This fight has really been an opportunity to say that."

Rousey, 28, said she got so emotional the other day just from looking down at the Tatame mats she was working out on. The most popular fighter in the world was brought to tears simply by the utilitarian floor-coverings underneath her feet.

"I just started crying," she said. "My coach was like, 'What's wrong?' And I was like, 'I love these mats. I love the mats.' That's why I want to win. That's why I'm better than all these girls.

"You think Holly Holm ever looks at a boxing ring and cries, because she loves it so much? No. That's why I have these moments when I look out and everyone is cheering my name and I'm like, 'Who are you people and why do you like me?' It's overwhelming sometimes. I'm trying my best to appreciate it. And I'm gonna show my appreciation for them by winning in the most fantastic way possible and making them so happy that they were there to see it."

Win or lose, Holm will likely be well compensated for this headlining fight. Probably more so than any of her boxing matches. Being opposite Rousey is the UFC's version for the golden ticket, even if it ends very poorly for the woman in that position.

"If anything, I feel like they'll appreciate me when I'm gone," Rousey said. "Maybe not right now. But I feel like this is my purpose and I'm fulfilling it."

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