Category Archives: Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey mum on future plans, praises Shayna Baszler for WWE Mae Young Classic run

After a nearly 14-year MMA career, Shayna Baszler began her transition to pro wrestling in 2015 and since then has put it in time paying her dues.

Tuesday night represented Baszler’s hard work on the independent circuit finally paying off as she performed in the finals of the inaugural Mae Young Classic, WWE’s first all-female tournament. Baszler, who won three previous matches in the 32-woman competition that taped in July, lost to Japanese actress turned pro wrestling star Kairi Sane in the live finale at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ronda Rousey, Baszler’s former MMA teammate and longtime friend, sat ringside for the match and the “Smackdown Live” show that preceded it. There was speculation Rousey would somehow partake (likely in the form of interference), but the match ended clean.

Afterward, in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Rousey praised Baszler for reaching this point in her pro wrestling journey.

“I’m just so proud of her and all the work that she’s done, and to really put in over the years, coming up through the indie scene, and going and fighting in Japan,” Rousey said. “Everything that she’s done has been to prove to herself and to everyone else that she’s done the work to deserve to be here. I think she really proved that to every single person watching tonight.”

Rousey wasn’t interested in talking about her own future.

Since her 48-second TKO loss to Amanda Nunes last December at UFC 207, Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has remained silent on whether she’ll return to the UFC. In fact, she hasn’t spoken on the record about her future until Okamoto sneaked in a question near the end of his 2 minutes with her.

Rousey predictably remained evasive.

“You know what? I don’t want to come to Shayna’s event on Shayna’s night and talk about myself,” Rousey said. “I just want to keep tonight all about her. And go, Shayna Baszler.”

There’s been speculation that Rousey, who married UFC heavyweight Travis Browne last month, has been training pro wrestling for a potential WWE story line that would culminate with a match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November.

At the very least, a non-answer leaves the door still open for a return to the octagon – slim as it might be.

Or nah?

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Here's Ronda Rousey and WWE's 4 Horsewomen having a tense encounter to set up possible match

The wheels certainly appear to be in motion for Ronda Rousey’s transition to pro wrestling.

It all started after Shayna Baszler’s second-round win in the Mae Young Classic tournament, which aired Monday on WWE Network. In a scripted segment, Baszler celebrated with Rousey and MMA teammates Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, setting off a heated exchange with WWE stars Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Bailey, who were seated in the front row across the aisle.

After last night’s episode, WWE.com shared an exclusive clip of Rousey, Duke and Shafir praising Baszler. They’re approached by Flair, Lynch and Bailey for a tense face-off. Rousey drops her bag as though she’s ready for a fight and is the only one to direct words at the three WWE stars (via Twitter).

“You name the time, you name the place. … Oh, not today? We’re waiting to hear from you.”

The angle at play here is that Rousey and Co. were dubbed MMA’s Four Horsewomen years ago as an homage to the classic Ric Flair-led pro wrestling stable that started in 1985 and lasted through the late ’90s. Meanwhile, Charlotte Flair, Lynch, Bailey, and Sasha Banks also came to be known as the Four Horsewomen of pro wrestling as they rose up the ranks from NXT to the WWE main roster.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE FOUR HORSEWOMEN. You get the picture.

Speculation has been that WWE’s hope was to have ex-UFC women’s bantamweight champion Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) involved in a four-on-four match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November. If you follow WWE, then you know this makes sense given the tradition of the stable vs. stable theme of the event.

In fact, everything about this makes sense. Rousey loves pro wrestling, she’s reportedly started training for it, she’s already had one memorable appearance in the ring at Wrestlemania 33, and she’s not fighting for the UFC anymore.

So, yeah, let’s make this happen. Can’t wait to see Rousey deliver an elbow off the top rope.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

The photos are in: Ex-UFC champ Ronda Rousey, Travis Browne get married in Hawaii

The most dominant women’s champion in UFC history has been off the market for a while, and on Saturday, she made it official.

Former women’s bantamweight champion and Olympic medalist Ronda Rousey tied the knot with UFC heavyweight Travis Browne in Hawaii this past weekend, and both fighters have started to share photos from their nuptials on social media.

Both Rousey and Browne have posted four photos each from their wedding. For Rousey, the pics were her first Instagram posts since an Aug. 10 video telling fans big news was “coming soon” at her revamped website.

Rousey’s comments on the photos included saying it was the “happiest day” of her life. Browne called Rousey “perfect in every way.”

Browne proposed to Rousey earlier this year while on a trip to New Zealand. The pair had been a couple for a while, and while they were dating Rousey told Ellen DeGeneres she wanted to have Browne’s babies.

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When it comes to her work life, Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has not fought since a 48-second TKO loss this past December to Amanda Nunes in the UFC 207 main event. She was attempting to win back the bantamweight title she lost to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015 in one of the most stunning upsets in MMA history.

But while mum on whether or not she’ll fight again – UFC President Dana White doesn’t think she will, and he’s not alone – Rousey has kept busy on movie and TV screens. Along with her recent big-screen roles in “The Expendables 3,” “Furious 7” and “Entourage,” she apppeared as a prisoner in an episode of “Blindspot” and recently was a coach on “Battle of the Network Stars.”

Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC) has had a rough past three and a half years in the octagon. After getting in position to fight for a shot at the title, he lost a decision to Fabricio Werdum in April 2014, which started a 2-6 current run. He has dropped four straight fights to ex-champs Cain Velasquez and Werdum (in a rematch), as well as Derrick Lewis and Oleksiy Oliynyk.

But on Saturday, it was all about Hawaii and the big #Browsey2017 nuptials. Check out the photos below.

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For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMA's week out of the cage: Ronda Rousey's wedding, Eclipse 2017, Hurricane Harvey

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

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Ronda Rousey’s wedding

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Weekly eats

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Weddings, anniversaries and engagements

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Summer fun

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Hurricane Harvey

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The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Why Dana White isn't attending Ronda Rousey's wedding

Despite their close relationship, UFC President Dana White won’t be attending Ronda Rousey’s wedding.

The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will tie the knot with heavyweight Travis Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC) on Saturday. That, of course, overlaps with the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match, which White will be ringside for.

White revealed the scheduling conflict during an interview today on The Rich Eisen Show.

“Ronda Rousey gets married tomorrow,” White said. “Tomorrow is her wedding. She’s in a good place, she’s happy and hasn’t announced her retirement or anything like that, but she’s focusing on this wedding.”

White and Rousey have been close since the biggest star in women’s MMA history entered the UFC in February 2013. Rousey has not competed since a 48-second TKO loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December, and while White said he would have loved to attend the wedding, nothing is going to take his attention away from Mayweather vs. McGregor.

“Of all the days (for it to happen),” White said. “She said, ‘I’m getting married. Will you come to the wedding?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ The wedding’s tomorrow.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: How big a deal are these eight-ounce gloves for McGregor and Mayweather?

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Filed under: News, UFC

How much difference will two ounces really make on the fists of McGregor and Mayweather? Why does the UFC middleweight champion still get no respect? With a UFC interim lightweight title bout scheduled, where’s “The Eagle” when you need him?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

The big deal here isn’t the what, it’s the why. Is there a difference between using eight-ounce gloves and 10-ounce ones? Sure there is. (For a more detailed answer on that, I’d recommend this Twitter thread.) But the big issue here is the Nevada State Athletic Commission reversing what it had previously described as a vital safety rule, and without any very good explanation for why.

The Association of Ringside Physicians came out against the glove switch. The commission itself had said it would need to be presented with compelling evidence in order to issue a waiver. That didn’t happen, but the NSAC issued the waiver anyway. Then it tacked on a request that the gloves be turned over to the commission after the fight, ostensibly for a “study” on the effects of glove size. That this study would also give the commission possession of valuable sports memorabilia seems like a happy accident.

Both Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are enthusiastically supportive of the glove switch, and it might not make a huge difference in the end. But it is worth asking why the NSAC even has these rules if it will throw them out the window the instant the big money draws ask it to.

This was a social media post that snowballed into an actual rule change. As much as the commission said it didn’t want to be used in any stunts to keep the hype alive, that’s it exactly what it did here, and without putting up much of a fight. Kind of makes you wonder what these people wouldn’t agree to for the sake of a dollar.

I don’t want to speak for everyone, but yes, we do all want that. But according to UFC President Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov still isn’t ready. That leaves us with Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee in an interim title fight that’s interesting and all, but is bound to lack that title fight feel.

What it’s going to feel like instead is a fight in which the UFC had a date and an interim belt, and it filled in the names based on availability. The reason it will feel like that is because that’s exactly what it is.

Still, right now the UFC has the advantage of working with a division that’s loaded with talent. It would almost be hard to make a bad fight at 155 pounds right now. That’s good, since who knows if or when the real champ will ever return from his epic payday. It’s not hard to imagine that interim belt suddenly morphing into the real thing.

I think we all kind of get it, even if we also kind of don’t. Even before he had the UFC middleweight title, Michael Bisping was a much better fighter than he got credit for. It’s partially due to his personality – a lot people, fighters and fans, just don’t like him, and therefore don’t want to admit that he has legit skills – but it’s also a question of style.

You look at a lot of Bisping’s biggest victories and you see fights with too much room for debate. The knockout win over Luke Rockhold is a glaring exception to most of his recent work, where he won by small margins after nearly losing. That’s how it went against Anderson Silva. It was a similar story in his lone title defense against Dan Henderson.

And that’s the other thing, which is that his reign as middleweight champ isn’t exactly helping him. He’s had the belt for over a year now and has defended it only once, somewhat unconvincingly, against a non-contender who was rapidly closing in on senior citizen discount territory. That’s not the kind of thing that’s going to earn you a ton of respect.

The question is whether the Georges St-Pierre fight will offer him a better opportunity in that regard. On one hand, St-Pierre was a pound-for-pound great and a legend in the division below Bisping. But if Bisping wins, I’m sure a lot of people will write it off to GSP’s age and time off, not to mention the fact that he’s not even a middleweight.

In that sense, it’s kind of a no-win situation for Bisping. In the financial sense, however, it’s exactly the opposite, which explains how we ended up here.

I’m not sure it’s going to change anybody’s viewing habits, but now would be a fair time to ask the UFC president if he’s reconsidering his support, especially since a lot of CEOs have sprinted away from Donald Trump after his response to the unrest in Charlottesville over the weekend.

I feel like I already know what White would say. He’d probably give us the same spiel about how he’s not really political, and he only gave that speech to help out a friend who had helped him out in the past.

And sure, that will placate people up to a point. But when other business leaders have raced to publicly distance themselves from Trump, it might be time to start wondering if we’ve finally passed that point.

If McGregor beats Mayweather, chances are he’ll have to knock him out. And if he knocks out the best boxer in a generation, giving him his first career loss and beating him at his own game the first time out? Then forget fighter, I don’t see how you don’t crown him athlete of the year.

That’s a very good question. Ronda Rousey was tested nine times in 2016, according to the online USADA test history database. As far as we know, she hasn’t officially retired, so she should still be subject to testing, especially since USADA is still looking for other inactive but not technically retired fighters, such as Nick Diaz.

Yesterday I sent an email to USADA to ask if there’s any reason it is suddenly way less interested in Rousey, but so far I haven’t heard back. I suppose it’s possible that her number just hasn’t come up yet this year. But the more time passes, the less plausible that explanation is going to be.

Seriously? This one is really hard for me to pick. A few years ago and forget it, even with the size difference you’ve got to take St-Pierre all day. But the man’s been gone for nearly four years, all while time has marched brutally onward. It’s true that he doesn’t seem like the type to let himself get too out of shape, and clearly he wasn’t about to rush (ha) his return, even if it jeopardized (in theory) his chances of getting the fight.

But still, we have to admit that we’re just guessing when it comes to what GSP will look like in the cage now. Bisping isn’t an easy guy to take down, and if St-Pierre’s timing is off it could spell trouble for him. Plus, while Bisping isn’t exactly known as a knockout artist against middleweights, he might have more power than we think when he’s throwing at a welterweight. If you make me pick right now, I guess I’ve got to go with the champ.

It depends. What does success look like for a weekly internet fight show? Dana White’s Contender Series is filmed in a gym and the fighters make about half the typical UFC minimum, so it’s relatively cheap to make. And if it helps the UFC lock down some talent or snag some Fight Pass subscribers, that might be all it takes to justify the pretty meager expense. Maybe the better question is, what would failure even look like for something like this?

If you had the ability to be at or near the top of either sport, I can’t imagine why you’d pick MMA. In addition to the differences in pay and contractual restrictions, there are just so many more ways to get hurt in MMA. For a long time we’ve told ourselves that boxers suffer more head trauma over the long term, and that may be true, but it’s not like MMA fighters suffer none, plus I know plenty of MMA retirees who are limping around on bad joints after years of grappling in the gym and the cage.

Also, notice how MMA fighters keep calling out boxing champs, trying to get a piece of that pie now that they see how well it’s working for McGregor? Notice how you don’t see so many boxers trying to do the same thing in reverse? That ought to tell us something.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC President Dana White: Ronda Rousey, not Conor McGregor, was UFC's Mike Tyson

Although Ronda Rousey is seemingly gone from MMA competition for good, UFC President Dana White still has no problem delivering high praise to the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) hasn’t competed since her 48-second TKO loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December. “Rowdy” hasn’t spoken publicly about her career since, but White has essentially confirmed her retirement. Nevertheless, her departure hasn’t changed White’s stance on Rousey’s place in history.

White recently appeared on the debut episode of friend and former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson’s podcast, “Bite the Mic.” He was asked in front of Tyson, himself, which UFC fighter has had an impact comparable to the one “Iron” Mike made in boxing.

Some might assume UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor would be the one, or perhaps a number of stars before him. It wasn’t any of them, though, that White selected – but instead Rousey.

“Our Tyson was Ronda (Rousey), man. Ronda had this aura of invincibility that we’ve never seen before. That’s why everyone was calling Ronda our Mike Tyson because she was the most dominant athlete on the planet. Conor (McGregor) is different. Conor is completely different than a Tyson – his verbal game, his picking the round.”

Prior to her current two-fight losing skid against Nunes and Holly Holm, Rousey went on a 12-0 run to begin her career, including six consecutive UFC title defenses, all by stoppage.

For more on the upcoming UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

What news is ex-UFC champ Ronda Rousey teasing to the sounds of Led Zeppelin?

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Ronda Rousey has revamped her official website – and is teasing some “major news” coming soon.

The splash page for RondaRousey.com features a video that takes us through a sort of timeline of recent Rousey outside-the-cage highlights, set to “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin.

Those highlights include Rousey in the gym, with her dog, in the kitchen, signing copies of her Sports Illustrated “Swimsuit Edition” cover, with her friends, getting engaged to boyfriend Travis Browne … and back in the gym.

So this “major news” – what could it be?

Is it a return to the octagon for a comeback after she lost her UFC women’s bantamweight title to Holly Holm by knockout, then got knocked out by current champ Amanda Nunes in her shot at getting the belt back?

Is it another movie deal? Maybe “Expendables 4” or “Fast and Furious 46: Way Much Faster, Way Much More Furiouser” or an “Entourage” sequel?

Does she have big-time relationship news with “Hapa” happening?

Do the lyrics to “Over the Hills and Far Away” provide us with any clues?

Hey lady, you’ve got the love I need
Maybe more than enough
Oh darling, walk a while with me
You’ve got so much

Many have I loved, many times been bitten
Many times I’ve gazed along the open road
Many times I’ve lied, many times I’ve listened
Many times I’ve wondered how much there is to know

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold

Mellow is the man who knows what he’s been missing
Many, many men can’t see the open road.

Many is a word that only leaves you guessing
Guessing ’bout a thing you really ought to know
You really ought to know

The only thing we know for sure is we apparently need to stay tuned to her site for an update with this “major news.”

Got any guesses? Vote in our poll below.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Tito Ortiz: 'Cyborg' should've been face of women's MMA long before 'flash in the pan' Ronda Rousey

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

February 23, 2013 was a historic night for the UFC at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

It was UFC 157, and in the main event, Ronda Rousey submitted Liz Carmouche with her signature armbar to defend the bantamweight title in the very first UFC women’s fight that set off a revolution in MMA.

At that time, Cristiane Justino already was known as a one of the most dangerous fighters in the world – male or female. But she wouldn’t get her moment in the UFC spotlight until May of 2016. Fast forward to Saturday night at UFC 214, and in the same building where Rousey made history, “Cyborg” finally became a UFC champion with a TKO of Tonya Evinger to win the women’s featherweight title.

It was just the second UFC women’s 145-pound bout to take place, though with inaugural champion Germaine de Randamie opting to have her belt stripped instead of defending it against Justino, it felt like a new beginning for the division.

And for Tito Ortiz, friend and training partner of Justino, it felt like history was made similar to Rousey’s four-and-a-half years ago.

“You know, I really do,” Ortiz told Submission Radio. “It’s just that I think Cris is more of a true person. You know, she really doesn’t let her head get to her. She’s very calm, collective and very mellow-mannered person. She’s an awesome woman. She doesn’t get cocky, she doesn’t treat people bad. Cris is a true champion. She’s a true people’s champion. She goes out of her way to help people, and that’s what champions are made of, and that’s what Cris is made of.”

Justino (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) beefed in the past during Rousey’s reign as UFC women’s bantamweight champion, though “Cyborg” made it clear during fight week she isn’t holding any grudges. Even though Justino said she has no desire to fill Rousey’s shoes as the new face of women’s MMA, Ortiz believes it’s inevitable.

Because it’s also long overdue.

“Yeah, that’s what’s going to happen to Cris Cyborg 100 percent. She is going to be the face of women’s MMA. She should have been a long time ago, she’s gonna be now,” Ortiz said. “You know, Ronda was a flash in the pan. And nothing against her, she was a great champ at the time, but when you’re getting hand-fed opponents, it is what it is. But Cris is not a person to submit people and give them an opportunity to do it again, she’s a person to knock people out – as you heard tonight at the press conference, people comparing her to a Mike Tyson.

“But now she’s a confident person, is keeping her hips low and, yeah, she swings like Mike Tyson. All of her sparring partners, man, they’re all men. We don’t have any women sparring partner with her, and when they do it’s just a confidence booster for her, and I’ve got to thank all of them for coming in and working with her. Cris is finally the UFC world champ.”

She certainly waited long enough to be called that. What she does with that title is up to her.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

'Cyborg' Justino holds no ill will toward ex-UFC champ Ronda Rousey despite past beef

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Filed under: Blue Corner, News, Videos

Although it was once of MMA’s hottest feuds, Cristiane Justino says she currently holds no ill will toward Ronda Rousey.

When Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was ruling the sport as UFC women’s bantamweight champion, she would consistently rip Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) with harsh comments. “Cyborg,” who fights Tonya Evinger for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight belt on Saturday at UFC 214, would often fire back. But since Rousey has essentially moved on from the sport, the rivalry has fizzled.

Justino said at today’s UFC 214 open workouts that she no longer concerns herself with Rousey and has let go of any negative feelings.

“I don’t have anything against Ronda,” Justino said. “I think she did a lot of things for MMA. We can talk. I’ve never met her before, but I think she did great things for women’s MMA. She said a lot of things about me, but I think she used that time for growing her. She did it for business and not something personal, because I never met her. But I don’t have anything against her.”

UFC 214 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Justino meets Evinger on the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FXX and UFC fight Pass.

When Justino was asked if she would ever be willing to meet with Rousey and smooth things over in person, she left the door open to it.

“Maybe one day,” Justino said. “We don’t know.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie