Reigning UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has a major crush on one of the sport’s most-famous fighters.
During a recent meeting with reporters in Los Angeles, Rousey was asked for her opinion on Fedor Emelianenko, a Russian mixed martial artist who recorded 35 wins throughout one of the most-dominant careers in the sport’s history. But for Rousey, the 37-year-old athelete’s appeal extends beyond his prowess in the octagon.
“Do I want to have 57 of his babies? It’s true,” Rousey joked, according to MMA Junkie. “I think he’s married, though, so I’m not allowed.”
Emelianenko is indeed married, to Marina, but Rousey also has a more serious reason for her love of the former PRIDE fighter. During the interview, the 26-year-old revealed that she was inspired to become a mixed martial artist after watching one of Emelianenko’s fights.
“He was my first real exposure to MMA,” Rousey said in For The Win, a USA Today feature. “A couple of years ago a friend of mine showed me a Fedor Emelianenko highlight and it just blew my mind.”
This isn’t the first time that Rousey has expressed a crush for a fellow fighter. Earlier this week, she tweeted her belief that WWE superstar CM Punk is “sexy.”
On Wednesday, Rousey also discussed her recent victory over archrival Miesha Tate at UFC 168 -- specifically, her much-criticized decision to ignore Tate’s offer to shake hands at the bout’s conclusion. The bantamweight champion claims that Tate’s attempt at sportsmanship was just an act for the audience.
"I really think that if me and her fought alone in her gym if there weren't people there watching, she wouldn't have offered her hand to me," Rousey told SB Nation’s MMA Fighting blog. "Her actions were entirely influenced by being watched. My actions were all despite being watched."