Ronda Rousey is no stranger to failure.
With a series of Judo losses at the world championships and Olympics, Rousey has suffered the bitter taste of defeat before.
But since joining the UFC she has an undefeated record of 12-0 — an unblemished run she’s desperate to maintain on Sunday when she faces Holly Holm at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.
The event is expected to attract a record crowd of 63,000 and, according to MMA President Dana White, ticket sales to the tune of $8.5 million.
White believes it’s going to be an interesting match-up, commenting in a YouTube video that “anything can happen in a fight”.
According to Rousey, losses have shaped who she is today.
She hoped to follow in the footsteps of her mother by becoming a world judo champion – but she came up short in the 2007 championships in Rio.
The second big disappointment was at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, after losing the quarter-final to Dutch ex-world champion Edith Bosch. Rousey did, however, bounce back in the repechage to win bronze.
“My fear of failure is larger than anyone else’s, and it’s increasing with every single fight,” she said.
“I don’t shy away from it. I am extremely fearful but I don’t have a single doubt in my mind [when it comes to winning].”
The American has gone through many ways she thinks the fight could play out, but knows sometimes things don’t go to plan in UFC.
“That’s the environment I do the best in … I fight above myself. I do better when the pressure and the fear is the highest.”
Rousey faces a worthy adversary in Holm, who also has an undefeated record of 9-0.
The New Mexico native’s boxing background as a world champion indicates she has a decent chance of pulling off the upset.
Holm feels getting through Rousey’s early onslaught will be crucial on Sunday.
“I do feel like I am better prepared because she showed nobody has been prepared enough, she has run through them, so I have to feel I am going to be prepared better than that,” Holm said.
“We have a gameplan for every piece of it.
“I don’t want to be so focused on staying on the outside, there is a gameplan for every aspect.
“I am not just betting on one area.”
– with Greig Johnston and AAP