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Ronda Rousey encouraged by Conor McGregor's growth as a fighter and a man, says respect is mutual

Real recognizes real.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Newly-crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim featherweight champion, Conor McGregor, recently stated that he is inspired by women's bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, as he says he can relate to her based on both of their willingness to win and unmatched work ethic.

See his comments here.

It's because of that and their dominance of their respective division thus far that "Notorious" is confident in declaring that both he and "Rowdy" are currently at the top of the mixed martial arts (MMA) world.

Upon catching wind of the praise, "Rowdy" issued back some of her own, saying the respect is mutual. Plus, she says she is encouraged and has received great joy watching the fiery Irishman grow as fighter and a man during his present run inside the Octagon.

"Conor, it's been a real joy watching him progress and mature as, not just as a fighter, but as a man. I've seen him grow a lot and I have been very encouraged by what I have seen. I couldn't be happier for him and the company for winning (the title). I really appreciate the respect he has shown me and it's definitely mutual."

McGregor joined the championship club after knocking out Chad Mendes in the second round of UFC 189 last week (see it again here). Despite carrying the interim tag, "Notorious" branded himself the real champion of the division since Aldo "pussied out" of their title fight.

As for Ronda, she'll attempt to defend her 135-pound belt for the sixth consecutive time against Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC 190 on Aug., 1, 2015 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

After that, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have both Ronda and Conor -- box office draws and fan favorites -- to co-pilot a pay-per-view (PPV) event.

Maybe the duo can be good enough to fill this massive stadium.

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