The filming of next season’s The Ultimate Fighter featuring arch-rivals Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate as opposing coaches, has just wrapped its filming schedule and the first episode is due to air on FOX Sports 1 in September.
If the UFC women’s bantamweight champion has her way, this upcoming season will be the only time she does the show.
"I love my team and I love the relationships I was able to forge, but I’m never f**king doing that again," Rousey said recently as a guest of SiriusXM’s Fight Club. "No way. I aged four years last month I think."
Perhaps she feels that way because she had to be around Miesha Tate—a fighter she despises like no other—for several weeks. Or maybe, it was being under the watchful eye of video cameras for the duration of the show that she wishes to never experience for a second time.
"I think that going on any reality show is not good for your mental health because you behave differently when you are being watched, and you constantly have an extra bit of awareness of what’s going on all the time," Rousey explained. "Even f**king electrons behave differently when their being watched."
While filming TUF may have been an unpleasant experience for her at times, Rousey is no stranger to receiving media attention. Her meteoric rise in popularity and mainstream exposure has taken the sport and the UFC to new-found heights, and places it has never been prior.
She has already made history by becoming the first-ever women's champion in the UFC, and she will set another precedent—along with Tate—as the first female coaches in the show's history to coach both female and male fighters.
MMA fans almost didn’t get to see the heated rivalry between Rousey and Tate come to the small screen this fall. An injury to Cat Zingano—who was originally picked as the opposing coach of the current champion—opened up the doors for Tate to come in and renew their utter dislike for one another.
Rousey explained a fight between her and Zingano "would be better," but to be a coach against Tate on TUF serves well "for TV purposes."
"People are more looking forward to the fight between me and Cat, and people are more looking forward to the drama between me and Miesha," she said. "It’s really unfortunate that it worked out that way for Cat."
Rousey is never one to mince words, especially when talking about her nemesis. She explained what she thinks the viewers' reactions will be upon digesting the next season of TUF.
"Everyone is going to think that I am nuts and hard-core, and everyone is going to think that Miesha is just a fake little bitch," Rousey stated. "She spent more time worrying about her hair than her fighters, and I was just obsessed about giving my fighters the best possible, and you can really tell the difference between us I think in the show."
The bad blood between the two women fighters has dated back to before Rousey defeated Tate and became the Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion in March 2012. It has also involved Tate’s boyfriend, UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway, on certain occasions.
The former Olympian believes that Tate’s loss to her was actually more beneficial than a win would have been.
"She hates my guts, and whether she likes it or not, she has more opportunities because of me beating her ass," Rousey said.
A very bold and profound statement from the first-ever UFC women's champ, but, perhaps, a completely true one. A women’s division could have possibly come to the UFC in time had Rousey not defeated Tate for the Strikeforce womens title. It’s highly unlikely that it would have come as fast with Tate leading the movement. The UFC’s interest was clearly in Rousey.
"I think that she hates the truth that she’s better off because she lost," Rousey continued. "If she won that fight, and it continued to be her as the champ, she wouldn’t be as well off as she is now. She’s going to try and make up for it and try and win at this next fight, but it’s just not happening.
We are in two entirely different leagues and I’m going to be training harder than her, doing more than her and she is always going to be second and that’ something that she is going to have to live with."
The date to see this rivalry live, through a full season of TUF, can’t come soon enough.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.