Moments after Mike Tyson stepped into the Glendale Fighting Club, Ronda Rousey grabbed her judo coach and abruptly flung him onto the canvas with an enormous bang.
This training violence unsettled Iron Mike, whose eyes widened in awe while Rousey repeatedly hip-tossed Justin Flores with the same brute skill. The former heavyweight champion finally spoke up.
“It just doesn't look fun no more,” Tyson said with a smile.
“It’s fun for me,” Rousey replied from the cage. “I don’t know about him.”
Tyson once dominated boxing in much the same way Rousey dominates mixed martial arts, overwhelming every opponent in their paths with a mixture of pre-fight intimidation, hard-earned skill and unstoppable force.
Former boxer Mike Tyson watches mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey train during her workout, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Glendale, Calif. Rousey, the UFC bantamweight champion, will return to the octagon against Brazil’s unbeaten Bethe Correia at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Dana White realizes the comparison is inexact, but the UFC president believes no other athletes in the so-called combat sports have separated themselves from their competition more than Tyson and Rousey over the past 30 years.
“These are two of the greatest to ever walk the planet in their sports,” White said. “Not many people in the world can relate to that.”
"She's a killer"
Ronda, she’s a lady. Polite, kind, sweet and adorable…But her whole barometer is, she’s a killer. She has that killer auraMike Tyson
Mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey, right, fist-bumps former boxer Mike Tyson after her workout at Glendale Fighting Club, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Glendale, Calif. Rousey, the UFC bantamweight champion, will return to the octagon against Brazil’s unbeaten Bethe Correia at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
“You look in the mirror, and you’re like, ‘What happened today?’” she said.
“It’s very humbling, and I was just honored that he would go through the trouble or go out of his way to watch me train,” Rousey added. “I’m really glad he was able to come, but it won’t be until after I beat Bethe and go home and go back to the hotel and look at myself in the mirror for the first time, like he was saying, that’s the moment it all hits you. He knows better than anyone what that moment is like.”