NEW YORK--Reebok unveiled the new UFC "Fight Kit" on Tuesday morning (June 30, 2015) at the Skylight Modern event venue on 27th street in downtown Manhattan. It was essentially UFC meets a fashion show as the fighters on hand all walked to the stage to model the new and exclusive apparel line for the world's biggest fight promotion.
See the pics here.
UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey joined several other champions on the roster and donned the champions line, which is black with a gold insignia. "Rowdy" mentioned during the presentation that she liked black because she's known as the bad guy, and gold because she is the best.
Afterward, the undefeated champion took a seat still dressed in her new fight kit to field questions from the combat sports media and she was asked if it was a surreal experience to be standing up on the stage to model the new uniform for the UFC.
"There is so much surrealism in my life, I don't really know what to say is surreal and what is normal anymore," Rousey told MMAmania.com. "It's crazy that… One of the guys backstage was pointing out, he was like, 'it was four years ago that you had three jobs and you were hustling.' That was an Olympics ago. That really wasn't that long ago. To go from a point where like… I remember when I didn't know what MMA was. It was so obscure. I didn't know what the UFC was.
"I remember the first time I saw Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz have a billboard in Vegas and be like 'wow that's a real sport?' To go from that to now there's women headliners and we're have Reebok apparel and it's an actual uniform. We have jerseys like a real sport. We are on FOX Sports and all these things. The kind of evolution that I've seen in such a short period of time… I mean, I really believe that we are witnessing a really special time in sports forever. That you will be able to tell your kids, 'I remember the birth of the Internet and I remember the birth of the UFC.'"
Rousey has taken to the sport to new heights in many ways since joining the UFC back in 2012. From movies to late night talk shows, an appearance on the Howard Stern show, she is arguably the most recognizable name in the public's eye and she is one of the reasons UFC was able to partner with an apparel company like Reebok for what Reebok president Matt O'Toole called a "landmark moment."
The champion is forever grateful they took a chance on her.
"It feels good to be able to really reward the faith that Dana and the Fertitta brothers had in me," she said. "They took a big risk and every single time that I can prove that the risk is paying off, it makes me feel so good to be able to give back to people that took a leap of faith on my behalf."
MMAmania.com mentioned a FUEL TV party that Rousey attended at The Hudson Hotel in NYC prior to the UFC on FOX 3 card back in 2011. This was when the promotion began ushering her in prior to her signing and the launch of the inaugural women's bantamweight division. She was quite busy at that time, but that was four years ago. With movies, appearances, magazine shoots, and everything else, that time looks like she was standing still compared to now.
"You know what's funny? I remember the dress that I wore that night," she says laughing. "My friend Shayna actually just borrowed that dress to be like the best woman at her friend's wedding and I was like 'that dress is from that thing that was four years ago in New York.' I don't know why I brought that up, it's fashion and New York and my brain is bouncing. It was tan. It was a tan dress. I liked that one. I will bust it out again."
The conversation switched to her UFC 190 match up against Bethe Correia (details) and the smiles quickly disappeared from Rousey's face. The Brazilian has already talked a substantial amount of trash, but in one of her spiels she mentioned suicide -- the reason in which Rousey lost her father when she was eight years old -- and in the champion's eyes, she severely crossed the line. It's safe to say Rousey is counting down the days until August 1, 2015 when she gets locked in the Octagon in Brazil.
"I never looked forward to beating up somebody more in my entire life and I'm not going to finish her off quickly," Rousey said, with fire in her eyes. "This is the only time that I will say that I will purposely drag a fight out to punish someone."
How will she guard against being too emotional and falling away from her game plan because of all the anger she has for her Brazilian counterpart?
"Well, fighting is how I keep a level head," she explained. "That is where, really, my place of solace and focus is and how I keep a level head in the rest of my life. It's easy for me to lose focus sitting in a chair, but when I know I'm fighting it's the one thing that centers me. It's the one place where there's no five minutes ago or five minutes from now, there is only the present moment.
"The only thing that fits in my brain is observations and decisions. There is no emotion. There is no anything like that, just, this is what's going on and this is what needs to be done. That's why when I walk out of there I don't remember anything most of the time because I'm on play, I"m not recording anywhere. That is why I always go to that place. I always want to fight when things are at their worst and most emotional and most unfocused because that's the one thing that centers me."
And when all is said and done and the fight is over, Rousey's longtime rival Miesha Tate will have a better chance at getting a handshake than Correia ever will.
"Bethe has succeeded in being disliked more than Miesha, that's quite a feat."