Ronda Rousey on fighting at UFC 176: 'If they needed me to step up, I would do it'
JUL 03, 2014 6:45p ET
LAS VEGAS -- If officials are looking for someone to save UFC 176, the answer could be right under their nose.
Ronda Rousey, the UFC women's bantamweight champion, said Thursday she would step in and fight in the main event at the Aug. 2 show in Los Angeles if she comes out of Saturday's fight with Alexis Davis unscathed. UFC 176 just lost its main event Wednesday when Jose Aldo got injured and had to pull out of his featherweight title defense against Chad Mendes.
"If they needed me to step up, I would do it," Rousey said at UFC 175 media day at Mandalay Bay. "I would appreciate the rest, but if they really needed me to do it, they know I would do it."
It was just earlier this week on a media conference call that Rousey said she would take a fight on 24-hours' notice. This might not be quite as extreme as that, but four weeks is pretty tight. Rousey tied the quickest turnaround by a UFC champion ever from UFC 168 to UFC 170, a span of 56 days. Two events less than a month apart would shatter that record.
"I told them I would fight on 24-hours' notice and they know that," Rousey said. "When I make a promise, I mean it."
Plenty would have to go right for Rousey (9-0) against Davis, but then again it usually does. The champion is undefeated and has won all but one fight inside of the first round. Davis is about a 17-to-1 underdog, so few are giving her a chance to win. How long the fight goes is a different story. Davis, with her Brazilian and Japanese jiu-jitsu backgrounds, is very skilled and extremely durable.
Then there's the question of whom Rousey would even fight next. Cat Zingano won’t be ready until at least September and UFC president Dana White has said that she would not get a title shot right away after her ACL injury and death of her husband, though she's still considered the No. 1 contender.
Meanwhile, talks have stalled between the UFC and MMA pioneer and Hollywood star Gina Carano, UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani reported last week. Carano will almost certainly get an immediate title shot if he signs, but her fighting in August is a long shot at best.
Rousey would not address Carano rumors Thursday, saying she's only focusing on Davis for right now. It's unlikely the UFC would ask her to fight again in August, but if they did, she probably wouldn’t say no. Not that there are any obvious opponents for her in the pipeline.