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Tracy Cortez reacts to latest negativity for girls’s MMA: ‘Everybody’s ready for the subsequent Ronda Rousey’


Since Ronda Rousey first exploded onto the scene and helped usher ladies’s preventing into the UFC, there have been no scarcity of marquee moments for girls within the octagon.

Recently, nevertheless, there’s been a barely completely different feeling as a cloud of negativity has appeared to encompass the ladies’s divisions within the UFC. Maybe a part of that stems from inactivity, with the flyweight title sitting dormant for the higher a part of the previous 12 months and the bantamweight title seemingly not seeing motion once more till the ultimate months of 2024.

The one fixed has been the strawweight division, the place Zhang Weili nonetheless guidelines with an iron fist, however even her five-round battle with Yan Xiaonan on the historic UFC 300 card was largely overshadowed after following Max Holloway’s victory over Justin Gaethje with one of many all-time nice finishes in UFC historical past.

That very same chatter currently relating to ladies’s MMA was a lot the identical when the primary occasion for UFC Denver was initially introduced as Rose Namajunas vs. Maycee Barber. However the temper seemingly modified when Barber fell out and was changed by Tracy Cortez, who comes into the matchup on an 11-fight win streak and undefeated within the UFC.

“I believe it’s a kind of issues the place everybody’s ready for the subsequent Ronda [Rousey], for the subsequent Joanna [Jedzrejczyk], somebody unbelievable like [Zhang] Weili to remain on prime and show themselves,” Cortez mentioned Monday on The MMA Hour. “Somebody like Rose to journey that the way in which Ronda did, and even myself now that I’m right here.

“However I did see the shift [toward negativity] and I don’t know why. I don’t know why ladies’s MMA is getting bashed lately the way in which it’s, however hopefully July 13 we placed on an amazing present, an thrilling present, and we give the group what they need. Get them excited once more for girls’s MMA.”

For her personally, Cortez believes a part of the attraction she has with followers comes all the way down to her personal demeanor and the way in which she carries herself each inside and outdoors the cage. That authenticity appears to attach with folks, and maybe that led to a few of the fanfare Cortez acquired after she acquired the primary occasion slot towards Namajunas on Saturday.

“I believe the followers really feel me, at the very least me personally as a fighter, as an individual. The message I attempt to [get] throughout on my social media is there’s goal behind what I do,” Cortez mentioned. “I’m not simply preventing to combat. There’s goal. There’s that means.

“I’m very, very intentional with the way in which my life is. I don’t know. I believe it’s a kind of issues, as a result of it even caught me without warning.”

So far as changing into the subsequent Rousey, who at her peak was proper alongside Conor McGregor as the 2 largest stars within the sport, Cortez had nothing however reward for the previous UFC ladies’s bantamweight champion.

Since leaving UFC, Rousey has overtly admitted a little bit of a love-hate relationship with MMA. She went so far as saying she hasn’t attended any occasions as a result of she is aware of she would get bombarded by boos from the followers.

Don’t anticipate Cortez to affix in that refrain of jeers. She holds Rousey in very excessive regard, even when she hopes to in the future surpass a few of the information Rousey set within the UFC.

“I’m very grateful for the way in which Ronda paved the way in which for girls’s MMA,” Cortez mentioned. “Nobody has carried out it like she has.

“However I say this humbly, I hope to surpass that. She set a objective and I believe us as rivals need to hold overstepping these objectives and overdoing what our final heroes did. I noticed the way in which she moved, and [I am] finessing and tweaking and making it my very own, and hoping to surpass what she has carried out.”

Cortez is aware of these are lofty ambitions, however very similar to getting into Saturday’s predominant occasion on brief discover, the 30-year-old flyweight welcomes the problem.

“I thrive off of stress,” Cortez mentioned. “I’ve at all times been judged and ignored and I’m only a fairly face. I’m right here now. The file speaks for itself. I thrive off of it. I adore it. I genuinely love the stress. I really feel like I carry out, I embrace it to the fullest.”

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