We spoke with Marshall Teague -- who played Jimmy (the kung fu bad guy) in the 1989 flick. Jimmy was the guy who had his THROAT RIPPED OUT by James Dalton (Swayze) during the lake fight.
Now, with Rousey tapped to star in the reboot -- Teague says Ronda is the PERFECT lead.
"Adding Ronda is a great idea. You don't want to try to rebuild Patrick Swayze. He was a unique talent and can't be duplicated."
Teague adds, "Ronda knows it's not going to be easy. Fans of the original might question her, but we all know she will do great."
As for Ronda, she issued a statement saying, "It is a great honor to play a part in celebrating the life of a man that inspired so many. I couldn't be more grateful to have this opportunity to pay respect to the beloved Patrick Swayze."
"I promise to work incessantly to make sure this project is a tribute his family and fans can be proud of."