WWE star Shayna Baszler admits dream match with Ronda Rousey may happen soon… but UFC legend won't be the favourite | The Sun
WWE superstar Shayna Baszler claims a dream match against Ronda Rousey may "eventually" happen soon but insists those who pick the UFC Hall of Famer as the favourite to win over her would be wrong.
Baszler and Rousey go way back as they lived together during their early MMA days, which saw them train and spar against each other before reaching UFC and WWE success.
The two fighters have never clashed in the ring since transitioning from mixed martial arts but have teased an imminent dream match with some intense confrontations recently on SmackDown.
Baszler is set to face SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan at Clash at the Castle this Saturday in Cardiff after replacing Rousey, who was "suspended" for attacking a referee following her controversial loss to the titleholder at SummerSlam.
The ex-NXT Women's Champion is confident that if she beats Morgan in Wales then it is only a matter of time until her best friend "eventually beats everyone" to earn a title opportunity.
And the South Dakota bruiser insists she would be a "terrible friend" to deny the two-time women's champion that opportunity, as long as she earns it.
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Baszler told SunSport: "I’ll always be aligned with Ronda, we’re team-mates. She’s faced Liv so she’s been giving me advice so I think there will always be some of that.
"But if people haven’t been in amateur wrestling or martial arts or something maybe they wouldn’t understand but as a friend it’s more insulting if she earns the title spot. If she becomes the No1 contender as I’m champion.
"It would be very insulting to say no. She earned it, that’s my friend. But on the flip side of that, if I’m champion she’s not necessarily gonna get on the mic and be like, ‘Shayna, I’m next!’ [Just] Because we’re friends.
"But she’s gonna try and beat up everyone in her way. So eventually, I beat Liv I become champion, I imagine she would eventually beat everyone because she’s like the baddest woman on the planet so eventually that would happen.
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"But I don’t know that there has to be tension or anything like that. Maybe people don’t understand that if they haven’t been in but eventually if I’m champion our paths would have to cross I imagine.
“In the martial arts’ world it’s more of an insult to deny your friend and team-mate an opportunity if they earn it.
"Just because you guys will see it on camera it won’t be the first time we beat the snot out of each other. But I think it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that we’re like hating each other, it’s just something that comes along with what we do.
"So, after I end up beating Liv, if Ronda earns her title opportunity again I would be a terrible friend to deny her that opportunity."
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Rousey has only lost four times since her WWE crossover in 2018 after a scintillating UFC career where she won 12 out of 14 fights, became the inaugural Women's Bantamweight Champion and was undefeated for four years.
Many would consider her the favourite to beat Baszler because of that track record, but the 42-year-old strongly disagrees as she insists she has proven to be a better wrestler than her fellow American.
When asked how she would react to fans dubbing her the underdog in this fight, she added: “I’d think they didn’t do their study very well.
"I’m far more experienced in wrestling, I have more championships than she does. It’s one thing in MMA, I think they would have an argument.
"But I think professional wrestling is my world. She’s even said in interviews, the reason she’s here is because of me. There’s also something to be said about two team-mates that spar a lot that know each other’s stuff really well. So I think it’d be a super close match either way."
The two fighters appeared to be on a collision course two weeks ago when Rousey confronted Baszler on camera telling her, " You used to be a killer".
But the ex-UFC star has played down the incident, in which she berated the Rowdy One following her suspension, claiming it was just tough love between two friends and insists their relationship will always be solid even if they eventually face off for the title.
Baszler said: “Regardless of the fact we are both fighters, she’s a close friend of mine. That’s not something that’s a story, that’s real life. We lived together, we trained together, we’ve seen each other at our worst, we’ve held each other through fight camps.
"So I think because of that there is a certain part of our relationship where we can confront each other about tough things. And I think everybody needs friends like that in their life. I can sit back and go, ‘What are you doing?’
"I feel like that’s all that was, a friend confronting me with a mirror but also me handing that mirror back to her and going, ‘This is not the way that things are done, man. You’re off the rails right now’.
"The cameras were on, that was just a tough conversation between two really close friends.”
Nevertheless, Baszler remains focused on her title shot against Morgan in Wales and is not planning on showing any mercy as she was even heard telling her rival she will break her arm this weekend.
The MMA hero is determined to win the title and is not intent on going soft on any of her potential challengers as she wants to command respect and fear, like she did on NXT where she tortured her opponents' limbs with her catch wrestling background.
Baszler said: "I’ve always said – and I said it on NXT too – there should be a certain amount of respect and fear that comes with the champion.
"It shouldn’t be a thing where you win a title opportunity, there should be a side of the person that [realises] ‘Oh no’. Because they know [what’s coming].
"And I think I bring that because regardless, win or lose, you’re not gonna go home with all the limbs that you entered the match with – you’re not.
"So there’s that side that I bring in a way that nobody else does. Not that there hasn’t been great champions, and obviously everyone of us has to work so hard to even get an opportunity at this title, but I think that’s the ingredient I bring.
"There’s a side where the person realises, ‘What did I actually win? An opportunity for the title but it’s against Shayna’."
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