Ronda's reality TV rep? She's not sweating it
Ronda Rousey absolutely hated filming 'The Ultimate Fighter.' But she doesn't care if people view her differently after seeing what was a very miserable version of herself on the reality show.
The way the UFC women's bantamweight champion sees it is that in this era of social media people's opinions can be fashioned quickly
And she says it in a way only Rousey can.
"How long ago was it that Kim Kardashian had d**ks in her mouth and now she's selling my little sister shoes?" Rousey said during a media luncheon Thursday in Los Angeles. "Those examples are encouraging to me. There's no permanent problems."
Rousey might not care what people think of her now, but she's not over how she believes she and her team was treated on the series, which she describes as "inhumane."
"We were just really mistreated and really disrespected by the whole production staff and just everybody," Rousey said. "We were instigated and manipulated to get the most dramatic response out of us possible."
She said that the producers needed a villain and she was made to fit that role. It definitely came across that way. Rousey's image and popularity took a hit from her performance on the show, so much so that she lost to rival coach Miesha Tate in the EA Sports UFC video game cover vote. That would never have happened prior to 'The Ultimate Fighter.'
Rousey, who defends her title against Tate on Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas, said she was shown flipping Tate and her assistant coaches the bird, but her shaking their hands after fights was not shown on the show.
She also accused Tate and her team for sabotaging one of her fighters, Chris Beale, before his fight with Team Tate's Chris Holdsworth. Rousey said that just before the fight UFC president Dana White entered the locker room to ask Beale if he was under contract with another organization. The promoter for that company had called and threatened legal action if Beale fought.
Rousey said that it could not have been a coincidence that the promoter knew exactly when Beale would be fighting on a show that is supposed to be kept secret until it airs months later. She believes Tate dropped the dime. Beale did end up fighting and losing.
"This is a closed [set] television show," Rousey said. "There's no way that that promoter should have known Chris was fighting at that moment. Who would stand to benefit?"
The reality show aspect didn't do anything for Rousey. She was more interested in helping the young fighters, especially the women. The reason she agreed to do it was because saw a way to develop the women's bantamweight division so it can carry on when she retires.
"If you think 'The Ultimate Fighter' was the best opportunity knocking on the door for me to do at the time, you're tripping," Rousey said. "It needed to be done for those girls."
Rousey has formed strong friendships with almost her entire team. Michael Wooten and Beale visited her to train in Bulgaria when she was filming 'The Expendables III.' Davey Grant has come to California to train with her. Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke even moved in with Rousey and her roommate Marina Shafir.
"These kids are my kids for the long run," Rousey said. "I would be shocked if Miesha knew where any of her kids were today."
She called Tate and her boyfriend Bryan Caraway "b***h kids" because they would complain to White about fearing someone on Rousey's team would physically harm them, yet they were still trying to incite Rousey and her coaches. She believes Tate brought assistant coach Dennis Hallman on the show to fire up Rousey's head coach Edmond Tarverdyan so he would do something that would get him kicked off. Hallman ended up being the one asked to leave.
Rousey has still not watched this season of 'The Ultimate Fighter' and said she hasn't paid attention to all the hate coming her way. But she said she's not worried about how this will affect her persona long term.
"Everyone's memory is as long as their Twitter timeline," she said.