As Ronda Rousey prepares to enter the arena and walk toward the cage, the fans scream. The music invades their ears. The hype boils.
She sees none of it. Hears none of it.
“I come out with blinders on," said Rousey, who will headline the first UFC women's MMA fight this Saturday. "I have no peripheral vision anymore when I'm out there. The size of the arena or the noise of the crowd or the brightness of the lights, it doesn't really factor in. The ring is the ring and the rules are the rules and the sport is the sport, and that’s what I know.”
Absorption of the moment and its gravity comes afterward. After the fight is over and the actual moment has passed. It works for Rousey, the 26-year-old former Olympic judoka who is undefeated in MMA. The UFC women's bantamweight champion goes for her seventh win as a pro when she defends the title against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif.
That's her approach on fight night. But what about fight day?
“I put on everything that I’m gonna wear to fight in that night, and I make my hair and everything, and so before I leave the hotel, I get to see myself in what I’m going to be fighting in," Rousey said. "And then I put everything on on top of it. Then when I get to the arena, I lay down and take a nap because that's what I've always done. I make myself go to sleep. Then I wake up, then I warm up, then I go out and do what I’m the best at.”