UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is not one to back down to a challenge, so it’s no surprise that as she readies to meet Cat Zingano in the Octagon on Saturday for UFC 184, she also found time to take on ring girl Arianny Celeste, who called her “a big bully” over comments the fighter made about fair pay in the UFC.
Celeste’s comment, which came in an interview on Wednesday with MMAJunkie.com, was in response to comments Rousey made last week at a promotional event, where she stated it was unfair that some ring girls were paid more than some UFC fighters. Rousey did not mention Celeste’s name, however. Nor was Rousey the first fighter to make the comparison. UFC lightweight Nate Diaz said almost the exact same thing last year, MMAFighting.com reminds. Celeste, however, took aim only at Rousey this week, who she said “continuously picks on” her.
Rousey, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to care. When reporters brought up Celeste’s latest comments about Rousey to Rousey during an open workout at the UFC Gym in Torrance, California, later on Wednesday, Rousey repeated her remarks and denied she was bullying anyone.
“What did I say that I was a bully?” Rousey said (via MMAJunkie.com). “I said that the fighters should get paid more than the ring girls. That doesn’t make me a bully, that makes me [expletive] right.” She continued:
“I’m sorry, but (Celeste) wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for the fighters. She wouldn’t. Do you think her walking in circles around the two guys or two girls out there like, fighting for their lives is worth more? You think she works harder than they do? I didn’t say that she needed a pay cut. I said either the ring card girls are paid too much or the fighters aren’t paid enough.
“For her to take that personally — you know what would have been the best thing for her to say? ‘Oh my god! You know? These fighters work so hard. And I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for them and I just admire them so much. Yeah, I definitely think that they should get paid more than anybody in the arena tonight.’ There you go, a PR lesson for her.”
While its easy to take Rousey’s side in this particular argument, the 28-year-old fighter has been less innocent in the past. See this feud, which Bleacher Report has dubbed “the UFC’s Best Dumb Rivalry,” has been going on for years — and Rousey may have started it. In 2012, Rousey and Celeste appeared in the same issue of Maxim magazine, in which Rousey basically said she could easily do Celeste’s job.
“[T]hat would be like a triathlete coming along and beating the runners in a marathon,” Rousey said (via MMAFighting.com).
Rousey, in fact, continues to hold Celeste’s job in low regard, as well as Celeste herself, who Rousey seemingly believes puts too much pride in her work.
“If you’re working at Hooters, because you’re trying to pay your way through medical school? Then [expletive] work it, girl. I respect the hustle,” Rousey told reporters on Wednesday, referring to another job that involves wearing little clothing. “But don’t think you’re hot [expletive] just because you work at Hooters. Use it to further yourself in life. Don’t think that you’re awesome just because you do that. … I’m sorry, but I’m not impressed with the job in itself.”