MMA Champion Ronda Rousey Put Off By First Michael Phelps Meeting
Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey's mixed martial arts achievements haven't yet made her name a mainstream buzz (yet) beyond ardent fight-fan communities.
More than a few Olympic officianados might even more easily recognize her were she to once more doff her clothing save a pair of pink handwraps, as she on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's 2012 The Body Issue. That reality does a dishonor not only to the Strikeforce strap she nearly yanked Miesha Tate's arm out-of-socket to earn, but to the 2008 bronze medal she earned at the Beijing Summer Olympics in women's judo.
All of that being true, never presume Rousey to be the sort to fall at eight-time Beijing swimming gold medal winner Michael Phelps' feet. She recently told interviewer Elie Seckbach he couldn't even be bothered to make eye contact with his own countrymen.
Rousey was taken with how even NBA elite stars representing their country made friendly gestures toward all athletes at a party welcoming all Olympians to Beijing. Phelps, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered for something as precious as his time, she claimed.
"These NBA players are a bigger deal than this guy, and they're hanging out with us. We're teammates. We're not a bunch of groupies. Come hang out with us," Rousey said. She was decidedly less impressed - if possible - with the way the swimming legend behaved during the team's "The Oprah Winfrey Show" visit.
Given that Rousey's sport of choice for the 2008 Olympiad scarcely received airtime at all and the world held its breath every time Phelps launched from the blocks chasing the eight-gold-medal Olympic record, Rousey seems decidedly underwhelmed by Phelps not just as a man, but as an athlete.
"I don't like being anybody's teammate and being treated like I'm a groupie. I didn't even want to go out of my way to say hello to that guy. Get over yourself. All you do is swim. If someone slapped you every time you jumped in the pool, I might have a little respect, but I was a swimmer before I did this stuff, and you can't tell me that swimming is OH MY GOD, because it's not," she said.
The 2012 Summer Olympics