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Ronda Rousey, Transformed

 

 
This UFC 190 challenge was intended to be Ronda Rousey’s “Rocky IV” moment: She would come to enemy soil and destroy a blasphemous opponent, undefeated Brazilian bantamweight Bethe Correia, who has insulted everything she is about. But the narrative would change once Rousey arrived in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil would not challenge her. It would embrace her, and Brazilians clamored to claim Rousey as one of their own.  All at once, this latest title defense became another validation of what Rousey’s legacy as an athlete and international icon is becoming. “It’s really been an eye-opening experience,” Rousey admits. “I’m going to accept and be whoever the fans want me to be, because it’s for them. This is about me and my legacy, and for them and their enjoyment.”
Wednesday, July 29