Ronda Rousey wouldn't count herself out in a fight against a male opponent, but the undefeated women's UFC bantamweight champion says she doesn't want to face a man for fear of the message that image could convey.
"I don't think it's a great idea to have a man hitting a woman on television," Rousey told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. "I'll never say that I'll lose, but you could have a girl getting totally beat up on TV by a guy -- which is a bad image to put across. With all the football [domestic violence] stuff that's been happening, not a good idea. It's fun to theorize about and talk about, but it's something that's much better in theory than fact."
Rousey has been so dominant in the women's bantamweight division that it's becoming difficult to find suitable opponents for her, leading to speculation about potentially squaring off against a man.
Most recently, Rousey defeated the previously unbeaten Cat Zingano in 14 seconds at UFC 184 on Feb. 28.
In a March 5 interview with "SportsCenter," Rousey was asked about UFC announcer Joe Rogan's comment that he thinks she could beat 50 percent of male UFC bantamweight fighters.
"If we're just talking about what in the realm of possibilities is possible about who I could beat, I could beat 100 percent of them," she replied. "But you can't tell me there's a zero percent chance I can't beat anyone on the planet, so I'm never going to say that."
While the prospect of Rousey being pitted against a male opponent is a long shot at best, a likelier bet would be for her to face Invicta FC featherweight champ Cris "Cyborg" Justino. However, there are serious obstacles to be overcome to make that fight a reality. Aside from being in different promotions, Rousey fights at 135 pounds, and Justino is at 145.
In any case, Rousey has the respect of Manny Pacquiao, who's set to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a much-hyped May 2 boxing match. Pacquiao was recently asked if Rousey could beat the undefeated Mayweather.
"I believe so," Pacquiao said. "She's strong. Strong enough to beat Floyd Mayweather in MMA."