According to a Sept. 3 post from the Los Angeles Times, UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey says the filming of "The Ultimate Fighter" left her questioning her love for the sport of mixed martial arts.
"From a professional and career standpoint, there were no reasons I needed to do that show. Zero. I didn't need it at all, but I want the division to be stable," Rousey said. "I want it to survive me and I want to have some sort of legacy in this sport.
“We needed to bring attention to all these girls who are so passionate and train so hard. They are valiant fighters and extremely passionate about what they do. They offer so much the guys don't, and I thought it was something people really needed to see. I thought The Ultimate Fighter could provide that vessel where people could start getting interested in these other women coming up."
Rousey explained that the gym is usually her "safe" place, where she can go to escape the realities of the world. That all changed when the "TUF 18" cameras basically invaded the space where she felt most comfortable.
"The gym is the place where I really center myself and I'm able to put the world into perspective and calm down," she recently told the Bleacher Report. "When the cameras are on you nonstop, that changes. Even electrons change when they are watched constantly, and they really took my safe place and bastardized it to where I was dragging myself to the gym every day.
"They literally took my only safe place and made it something that I hated. I'm so thankful for being able to forge the relationships I did with my team, but you couldn't pay me $10 million to do that again. There is just no way. By the end, I was questioning my love for the sport. I'm just happy to get back home to my environment and have my gym be my reprieve again instead of it being a stage.”
Rousey says she's aware she might look a bit crazy when the general public sees how she acted on the show, but that doesn't phase her.
"I haven't seen any of the footage yet, but I'm aware that I'm going to look nuts," she said of the show that airs on Fox Sports 1, starting Sept. 4. "These kids that I'm responsible for have everything that is important in their lives on the line, and if that isn't something important enough to care about and cry about, then I don't know what is. I have no filter with my emotions, and people are going to see exactly what I'm feeling. I don't think that is a bad thing."