Sunday, December 5, 2021

Gene LeBell On Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg/Steroids, & More

Legendary judoka and pro wrestler “Judo” Gene LeBell was interviewed by the folks at Submission Radio for a new interview, which primarily centered around his long-time protege Ronda Rousey. All sorts of relevant topics came up, so let’s go over some of the key quotes:

What kind of chance does Holly Holm have against Rousey?

Well, the only way she could beat Ronda is boxing. She isn’t gonna beat her on the mat, she isn’t gonna beat her at Judo, she isn’t gonna beat her at wrestling. I’ve watched a lot of film on Holly, and she’s good. She’s very, very good. She usually hits and hits hard, and then when she backs up, she moves to her left. Very predictable. I’m a big one of watching old films if you’re gonna fight. Football players watch and see people’s habits, and they usually don’t change.

On if Rousey vs. Floyd Mayweather could ever happen:

First of all, a man against a women….it isn’t gonna go, because a man is physically a lot stronger than any women in comparison. And to me, it’s just something to talk about. A lot of the women swimmers now are swimming a lot faster, hundreds of yards then they did in the Olympics 40-50 years ago, ‘cause they’re learning better methods and they’re faster. But so are the men. You know, they had a tennis match between a women and a man. Well, the man was over the hill and was a bum—[Billie Jean] King was the women, and she beat him. To me it’s like a sideshow. It is something to talk about. Who’s the king of the mountain?

I don’t think in a physical place…they [women] gotta be a big underdog. You get the best women basketball players in the world and if they win against a mediocre basketball team of men, the men have gotta win practically every time. So it’s a handicap.

Does he think Cris Cyborg is still on steroids?

I don’t know if she’s clean or not. I’m assuming she is. I hope she is. A lot of people knock Cyborg, but man, she’s probably in my opinion the second best women martial artist that ever lived. Did I say second best? Yeah. But it would be a good contest between Miesha and Cyborg. Everybody can get beaten. Ronda has all her fights [won in the] first round, but Miesha went three rounds with her. But always you had a feeling, well anytime she’s gonna finish it. Cyborg is an animal, well-conditioned athlete, and I thought it would be a good contest if the winner goes against Ronda.

On the contracted weight for a Rousey-Cyborg fight:

Why should [Rousey] go up? She’s the champion at 135. Let them come to her, to Rowdy Ronda. Let them come to her and then fight. I don’t know if it will ever take place. I’d like to see it as a fan, take place, because I like to see the best go against the best.

His friendship with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper:

Well Roddy Piper, he’s good. I mean, when I say good, I don’t take that lightly. He would have made a fortune off MMA, but he was making a fortune doing Piper’s Pit. And every time he got in a bad mood he’d call me up ‘come on, we’re going down to the gym and wrestle’. And he spent a lot of time on an airplane, going from town to town. He had a little radio program here I was on, and two days before he passed, I was with him and he said he wants to come down on Monday to the dojo and workout. And I said ‘no problem’. I says ‘how do you feel’? He says “I’m tired. Gene, I’m really tired”. And you burn the candle at both ends, it’s gonna come up and get you in the middle.

Check out the whole interview to hear his thoughts on more topics, including boxing.

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