There's no question that, like Chael Sonnen, Ronda Rousey knows her way around a microphone.
She's good at building up fights, plain and simple. Her trash-talking ways are responsible—even more so than her awesome fighting skills and her beauty—for her meteoric rise to the top of mixed martial arts. It was just March 2011 that she made her professional debut, and just over a year later she's the Strikeforce bantamweight champion and a media darling.
But lately, it feels like Rousey is going overboard. That was certainly the case at Thursday's pre-fight press conference in San Diego, where she unleashed the following gem:
If I get her in an armbar, I'm going to try to rip it off and throw it at her corner...If I get her in a choke, I'm going to hold onto it until she's actually dead. And if I get a knockout, I'm going to go all the way. I'm going to try to pound her face into the ground and she's depending on the competence of the California (State) Athletic Commission to walk out of that cage alive.
Look, I'm fine with a little trash-talking. We don't get a ton of it in the sport, so it's a refreshing change of pace when it does happen. I'd prefer that it developed naturally instead of being forced, but I'll take what I can get.
But there is a line, and saying you're planning to kill your opponent is close to it. But I can understand the situation, what with the heat of the moment and all that jazz. But going into explicit detail about how you plan on doing it, like Rousey did? That's crossing the line. No question about it.
I'm sure you remember the time Frank Mir said he planned on making Brock Lesnar the first fighter to die from Octagon-related injuries. That one didn't go over too well with the brass at Zuffa. Mir was forced to apologize for the comment, and Dana White publicly scolded Mir as well.
I don't know if anyone at Zuffa took Rousey aside and told her to chill out. If they didn't, they probably should. Build up a fight all you want, but don't wish death on your opponent. That's asking for trouble, and it doesn't exactly reflect well on the company you work for or the sport as a whole.
Rousey has it all: the skills, the looks and the promotional talent. She's a goldmine. But stuff like this will turn off fans even as she attempts to earn new ones.