The UFC will never pair a man vs. a woman, but there is a member of the current roster that believes UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey could hang with men.
In fact, Jake Ellenberger actually believes that “Rowdy” could defeat male members of the bantamweight division.
“She is freakishly strong,” said Ellenberger, during a recent interview with MMA Sentinel. “People thought I was crazy when I said she would beat a lot of guys in her weight class, but she is really extremely strong.
“She’s one of those people that works really hard. I didn’t realize that until I had spent more time around her in the gym.”
Rousey’s accomplishments are pretty well known by now, as she is a perfect 9-0 inside the cage. She finished fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann this past February in the first round, earning her first victory by something other than armbar.
UFC president Dana White has made public fights that were not yet fully signed, sealed and delivered. So he knows first-hand that premature announcements can come back to bite you.
As a promotion, the UFC has become accustom to rescheduling fights after injuries to the athletes. The latest, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, is forcing White to take a different approach to his game.
“We’re still working on a lot of stuff,” said White, during an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “Ever since Weidman went down and needed knee surgery, we’ve been moving things around and shaking things up. I’m still working on all that.”
“All that” includes a rumored Dan Henderson-Daniel Cormier bout, along with where Chael Sonnen-Wanderlei Silva will take place.
“A lot of stuff was getting announced prematurely and that drives me crazy,” White said. “There was a lot of premature stuff out there about fights that were going to happen. Most if it is not true because none of it’s done yet.”
Kenny Robertson’s first trip to Brazil was a perfect one, as the UFC fighter scored a submission victory over Thiago Perpetuo last month.
Competing in another country is nothing new for Robertson, but doing so in Brazil was. He’s previously fought in Canada and Finland, along with Puerto Rico.
“We were escorted to the event venue by security guards with automatic rifles, so that was different,” said Robertson, during a recent interview with FightLine. “I knew that I would get booed and had prepared for it.”
Taking on a Brazilian, Robertson (13-3) left the crowd stunned in silence after securing a rear-naked choke on Perpeuto in the first round. It was his second submission victory since signing with the UFC, and sixth of his career.
“There were still some boos but not nearly as many (after the fight),” he said. “I’m not sure if the crowd was more respectful or just quieted. Either way, I do respect how Brazilians get behind their native fighters.”
Robertson was coming off a 2013 decision loss to Sean Pierson. He is now 2-3 in five UFC appearances, with the other defeats being to Aaron Simpson and Mike Pierce.
A former wrestler at Eastern Illinois University, Robertson has turned himself into a well-versed expert when it comes to the submission game. He’s won fights via rear-naked choke, a modified kneebar, keylock and armbar since turning pro in 2008.
“Once I hit the mat, I’m just always thinking ‘improve position,’” he said. “I went for the rear-naked and had to adjust to a short choke. If you look, it’s not a rear-naked, it’s a short choke.”
After the fight, Robertson took a few extra days to relax and enjoy the weather in Brazil, as he said he “hung out with my wife and cornermen at the beach. It was nice.”
Two issues did come up once he reached the foreign country, though, involving his diet.
“Only having bottled water and no Subway sucked, but other than that, it was normal,” Robertson said.
Now back home in Ilinois, Robertson is in his “prep period.”
“I’m slowly getting back into training,” he added. “I don’t feel the need to call any one person out. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson hasn’t given up on a career in pro wrestling.
Jackson, who returns to the cage later this year at Bellator: Alvarez vs. Chandler III against “King Mo” Lawal in the finals of the season 10 light heavyweight tournament, is planning to start training again after the fight.
“Finally got the pro wrestling ring up in the new gym,” he posted on Instagram. “Gonna start back training with my coach Chavo Guerrero Jr. after my next fight.”
Guerrero is a former WWE star who last competed for TNA, which is also the wrestling home of Jackson.
Tim Kennedy has only one real concern ahead of his Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale main event fight with Michael Bisping: putting on a show.
The two will meet in Canada on April 16, and Kennedy is worried that Bisping might not bring it.
“Bisping’s health concerns me and if he’s going to actually fight me that night,” said Kennedy, during a recent interview on UFC Tonight. “I have 25 minutes to put on a show. We’re the main event.
“I really want to give people what they expect, which is a good fight. But Bisping has to play along and fight.”
Kennedy was referring to recent eye issues that have kept Bisping on the sidelines. The military veteran has picked up three straight wins since a 2012 loss to Luke Rockhold for the Strikeforce title.
Last November, in front of his fellow military veterans, Kennedy did put on a show, finishing Rafael Natal in the first round.
“I’m there to win fairly,” he said, “by knockout or submission.”
Ever-aware of his surroundings, Kennedy doesn’t believe that all the pre-fight trash talk between himself and Bisping will hurt him heading into the bout. The two have engaged in several lengthy Twitter wars over the recent weeks.
“An emotional fighter isn’t a good fighter,” Kennedy admitted. “But I’m doing it because I think he’s easy to make fun of. He’s a jerk.”