UFC fighter Ronda Rousey wants to conquer Hollywood while remaining No. 1 in the Octagon


(Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Gina Carano parlayed her mixed martial arts career into a Hollywood life, so why shouldn’t Ronda Rousey? According to a new ESPN magazine interview, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion’s goal is to do just that, and with roles in the can on “The Expendables 3,” “Fast & Furious 7″ and the “Entourage” movie, it looks like she’s well on her way already.

“I want to be the highest-grossing actor in the world someday,” Rousey told ESPN.”I didn’t grow up wanting to be an action star. I just didn’t think it was in the cards. Now that it’s a possibility, I’m like, …'[I]f The Rock can become the world’s highest-grossing actor, I can have that same goal.”

While Rousey has yet to work with Dwayne Johnson, who went by the name The Rock while in the WWE, she got a heavy dose of Hollywood stars while filming “The Expendables 3″ with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and Harrison Ford, who Rousey was particularly awed by. She revealed to ESPN:

“Nobody has affected me like Harrison. I was obsessed with ‘Star Wars’ as a kid. I’d watch it, rewind it, then watch it again. Han Solo was my guy, and ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ was actually the first action movie I watched, so I was super starstruck. When I saw him, I was like, ‘Do I introduce myself? Do I go out of my way to do it? Do I pretend to not notice him?’ I just lost it. I’m sure I made a total dork out of myself. But he was so nice. Very, very cool.”

Rousey’s also ready to give 100 percent to action roles; she told ESPN that she did nearly all her own stunts in “The Expendables 3.” Stunt doubles did some of the most dangerous work, however, because Dana White forbade it. Filming took place too close to a UFC fight, Rousey said.

“Dana White wouldn’t let me do anything too dangerous,” Rousey told ESPN. “I’m an adrenaline junkie, and I love jumping off of stuff, so they promised to let me do my own falls if I don’t have a fight next time.”

So there will be a next time? Rousey thinks so and she’s not willing to limit herself to just action films. She told ESPN:

“At first, I leaned toward what I knew I could do well: the physical stuff. Then ‘Entourage’ had me doing comedy — now I have to walk and talk and have timing and be articulate. It’s a bit more difficult. Maybe next time I can take a baby step to a more female-oriented movie. After that, maybe I’ll do the romantic comedy thing. It’s about progression. No rush.”

In the meantime, Rousey says she’ll keep defending her UFC championship, possibly against her MMA predecessor Carano, who’s been rumored to be signing with the company imminently. Rousey, who beat her last opponent Alexis Davis in 16 seconds flat, told ESPN she would welcome that:

“I really do believe that [Carano’s] the hardest competitor I could ever find to fight. Even if you don’t believe that, even if you think she took too much time off and it’d be a quick fight, to be honest, that fight would be too hot not to watch. It doesn’t really matter if it’ll be competitive or not. And if you do watch it, you’re going to be surprised: It’ll be one of greatest fights to ever happen in the history of women’s MMA.”

(H/t: Los Angeles Times)

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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