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Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey: ‘I feel like a proud mama’ with growth of women’s MMA

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Ronda Rousey is enjoying the progress she’s seeing from women’s MMA today.

MMA: UFC 191-Johnson vs Dodson 2-Weigh Ins Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For many female fighters, it was Ronda Rousey who brought recognition to women’s MMA. And in just a few years since she came along, the sport has seen a good number of formidable female fighters and champions.

On Thursday via Instagram, “Rowdy” Ronda took some time to appreciate how far women’s MMA has gone. She specifically gave props to UFC strawweight contender Weili Zhang, who faces champion Jessica Andrade in the UFC’s debut event in Shenzhen, China next week.

I feel like a proud mama watching how women’s mma has grown. Women from all walks of life, from all over the world are rising to the challenge and showing the world what it means to fight like a girl.

Weili Zhang @zhangweilimma is a prime example of overcoming adversity - fighting not just through the ranks, but to also get noticed and stand out. I’ve definitely taken notice, and so should you. Best of luck to the ladies fighting August 31 on #UFCfightnight157

Zhang immediately issued a response, showing respect and admiration for the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

Wow. Idol. I remember the first time I saw you fight in UFC in 2013. I thought you were so cool. Then I was inspired to be like you. In this many-lined UFC star cage to play a part of our women’s territory. You give me confidence and direction. If I want to slack off when I don’t want to train I’ll find you fighting. That gave me a lot of encouragement @rondarousey

UFC Shenzhen will take place on August 31st.