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Why other Judo stars wont follow UFC champ Ronda Rousey

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Thanks to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, the most common question an outstanding female judo athlete is likely to receive these days has nothing to do with judo at all.

“Everyone wants to know if and when you’re going to do mixed martial arts,” Marti Malloy, who won gold on Sunday in the Pan Am Games’ 57-kilogram (125-pound) division, told USA TODAY Sports. “People assume that’s what you’re going to do next.”

Rousey’s spectacular rise from Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing in 2008 to one of the most influential female athletes in sports (and a movie star to boot) would appear on the surface to have opened a natural path to the riches of the octagon for the likes of Malloy, who won Olympic bronze in 2012 and has her sights set firmly on next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

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