Newly minted UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey spoke to "Showdown" Joe Ferraro of Sportsnet.ca regarding the UFC 158 welterweight championship bout that pits Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz. The following are Rousey's comments as transcribed by Mike Bohn of MMA Mania.
Rousey on GSP and Diaz individually:
"I don't know [how the fight will play out], it's such -- one of the things that makes this card so interesting is I don't know how it's going to go. I know that GSP's a lot more riled up for this fight, and I hope to see him returning to that -- the actual ‘Rush' St. Pierre that I haven't seen since that loss to Matt Serra. You know, I used to be a really big GSP fan, but I have seen the way that his fights are kind of changing over the years and he has obviously not been very supportive of women fighters and Nick has always been one of my favorite fighters, I've always admired his fighting style since I even started doing MMA, so I hope he wins this."
Rousey's prediction for Diaz over GSP:
"I think he can and I think he will, I want this to be a really good fight and I hope GSP comes out to fight and not win a couple rounds and if that happens it will be one of the most memorable fight cards ever."
Rousey's answer is far from surprising considering that she's trained with Nick and Nate Diaz in the past. However, the Olympic Judoka hasn't shied away from voicing critical analysis of St. Pierre and his fighting style either.
In January of this year, the undefeated juggernaut attributed much of GSP's popularity to being "good looking" and "Canadian." Before that, in an interview in January of 2012, Rousey equated GSP's fight with Josh Koscheck to "a boring boxing match" and concluded with the suggestion that he "step aside and let Nick Diaz kick his ass." (Quote transcribed by MixedMartialArts.com.)
"I think that fighters that just try to win by points and come away with a win are actually bad for the sport. If you never saw MMA before, and you walked in and you saw GSP and Koscheck, and all this jabbing out the whole time, it looks like a boring boxing match. And I don't think you gain any fans with a fight like that.
And so I really hope that Nick Diaz beats the crap out of him, because Nick Diaz is entertaining, and he's an entertaining character in general. He might not be popular but I mean I can't but watch every video he puts out youtube. I think it's funny as Hell. And every single one of his fights is a brawl. It's not like a pitter pat match where afterwards he goes "Were friends, were all friends" and then okay let's go home. I think that's boring.
GSP was good for the sport for a while. He brought in some big sponsors like Gatorade and UnderArmor. But I think he's done everything he can in a positive way and he needs to step aside and let Nick Diaz kick his ass."
Perhaps some of the animosity stems from GSP's November 2012 comments about women's MMA, which Miesha Tate took issue with, calling GSP "ignorant." Rousey later begrudgingly agreed with Tate's response.
"In my heart I have, you know, it's the way I grew up maybe, the mentality is different, I'm old school. I have a hard time watching girls fighting; it's hard for me. I never really watched a woman fight, but I know they are pretty good."
St. Pierre will make his 8th-consecutive title defense against Diaz in the featured attraction of this Saturday's (March 16, 2013) UFC 158 pay-per-view, which will take place on GSP's stomping grounds in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.