Photo by Dan Shapiro
Rare is the discussion about MMA that veers off into a tangent about salsa music. Then again, not every mixed martial artist is UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
With a little more than two weeks to go until her UFC 193 title defense against Holly Holm, Rousey recently revealed that she bumps the tunes of salsa great Hector Lavoe in the training room. And while she’s often been cited as MMA’s answer to boxing legend Mike Tyson on account of her quick finishes, Rousey is using the sounds of salsa to find synergy with another pair of boxing greats: Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
“[Coach] Edmond [Tarverdyan] says that’s the rhythm of boxing,” explains Rousey in reference go Lavoe’s extensive discography, which spanned from the late 60s until 1988.
But Lavoe’s music is more than just a rhythmic interpretation of fancy footwork and movement. It is the bridge that connects Rousey to Ali and Foreman’s battle in Kinshasa, Zaire, “The Rumble in the Jungle,” which will celebrate its 41st anniversary on October 30.
Then performing with the Fania All-Stars, Lavoe flew into Kinshasa to take the stage as part of a three-day festival leading up to Ali and Foreman’s historic bout. ….View original article