A few years ago, UFC president Dana White stated that women would never have a place competing within the Octagon. He was not a fan of women’s fighting and could not seriously envision it becoming a part of the UFC. That all changed, however, after he saw Ronda Rousey compete. She single-handedly changed his view on women’s place in ultimate fighting. According to Fox, Dana White went as far as saying that Rousey is “the model athlete and superstar. I wish I had 10 Ronda Rouseys.” Thanks to her quick wins, good looks and unbeatable determination, Ronda Rousey has become a major success story, earning more than $3 million a year in sponsorships alone.
Rousey’s next fight will definitely be an exciting one. She is scheduled to fight Bethe Correia, the undefeated Brazilian, in Rio on August 1st. As Correia has defeated members of Rousey’s clique, Duke and Baszler, she stated that “it’s gotten personal.” Rousey is determined to make her fight with Correia another quick win, if not to keep up her impressive record, than for personal reasons. In an interview featured on Sports Illustrated, she explained that if her fights are shorter she can fight longer, particularly if she continues to win without severe injuries. The following is a list of 10 things you may not know about this rising star.
10. She Won Her First Professional Fight Within 25 Seconds
Rousey’s career is composed of numerous impressive statistics. On August 6th 2010, she began her mixed martial arts debut, defeating Hayden Munoz within 23 seconds. She also defeated Taylor Straford in the Tuff-N-Uff semi finals within 24 seconds. Her quick wins continued in her professional career as well.
Her first professional fight took place on March 27th, 2011 at King of the Cage: Turning Point. She defeated her opponent, Ediane Gomes, within 25 seconds using an armbar. Her incredible statistics don’t stop there: the total time of her last three fights (all of which she won) add up to 96 seconds.
9. She Is The UFC’s Biggest Trash Talker
According to the Business Insider, Rousey is ultimate fighting’s biggest trash talker. She has trash talked Kim Kardashian, saying that she is only famous for her sex tape, and has also trash talked Olympian Michael Phelps.
During an interview featured on Sports Illustrated, Rousey admitted that her trash talking is “not due to a lack of humility” or to gain popularity, but is a mental technique she uses so as not to fold under pressure. She explained that Dojo fighters may work great in gyms, but they do not respond well to pressure. By trash talking her opponents, she feels that she has no choice but to win and prove herself right.
8. Her Financial Situation Was Initially Rocky After Achieving Stardom
Rousey’s tough financial situation is part of the reason why she became determined to become a fighter. Being tight for cash and bartending made Rousey realize that she did not want to be a party girl and that she wanted more out of her life.
After trash talking big names like Kardashian and Phelps, Rousey’s popularity went through the roof. She was even on the cover of ESPN’s Body Issue. However, her fame did not completely rid her of her financial troubles. In an Interview with Sports Illustrated, she said that “I couldn’t retire, but I’d be chilling for a while.”
7. She Was The Winner of UFC’s First Female Fight
Ronda Rousey was the woman who made Dana White change his mind about women’s role in ultimate fighting, and for good reason. On February 23rd of 2013, she was a part of the first women’s MMA fight held in the Octagon.
After she defeated Liz Carmouche, Rousey made history and became a household name. According to Fox, the event was so huge it was one of the most talked about events of 2013.
6. She is an Olympian
At the young age of 15, Rousey joined the United States Olympic team. One year later she was also the youngest American to earn the national highest ranking in the women’s half-middleweight division.
Despite her best efforts, Rousey did not win a medal at the 2004 Olympics. However, she did not give up, and four years later, she attended the summer Olympics of 2008 in Bejing. There, she won a bronze metal in judo and retired from the sport at the age of 21. She quickly realized, however, how little value her Olympic win had in the real world, and became depressed while trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life.
5. She Was On Tinder
Her time on Tinder was very short lived and she did not at all take it seriously. In an interview featured on Sports Illustrated, Rousey stated that she made a fake account on Tinder as she was pressured by her friends to play the “hot or not” game. She also discussed how difficult it is to make time for dating now that she’s a star.
She admitted that even if she does get asked out by someone she finds interesting, her immediate thought is “how am I going to schedule another person in my life? I have one free day this month!” Rousey has also responded by saying that her inability to have time for dating has become “an interesting problem to have.”
4. Sport’s Illustrated Named Her “The World’s Most Dominant Athlete”
That is correct; according to Sports Illustrated the world’s most dominant athlete is a woman. Writers of Sports Illustrated are not the only ones to believe that claim. President of UFC, Dana White, has sated that “she’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever worked with. By far… she’ll do the work of 20 male fighters. She’ll bury anyone. When guys turn stuff down, she’ll be like, ‘You p—-, give it to me.’ When you talk about a franchise player−anything we need, she’s there for us.”
What is her secret? According to Rousey, you have to stay psychologically healthy and to do so, you have to be socially healthy, surrounding yourself with people that “reflect reality back to you.”
3. She Had to Work Low Paying Jobs
Having won a bronze Olympic medal didn’t guarantee Rousey any financial stability. In fact, during an interview featured on Sports Illustrated, Rousey stated how little her medal was worth. “I’d be like, ‘I have an Olympic bronze medal.’ The other person would be like, ‘Uh, cool. I collect stamps.’ ”
She was thus forced to work a variety of low-wage jobs in order make ends meet. She worked at a 24 Hour Fitness doing the graveyard shift. She also worked as a bartender at a pirate-themed tavern in L.A. called The Redwood.
During an interview, Rousey recalled how physically exhausting working her jobs was, being so tried that she resorted to taking short five minute naps in the bathroom and using her phone as an alarm.
2. She Has Had Terrible Boyfriends
In her new book My Fight/Your Fight, which came out in May 2015, Rousey discusses her bad luck with relationships. When she was a teenager, she was seduced by a man whom she refers to as Dick IttyBitty (a pseudonym of course), who cheated on her. Another one of her boyfriends was no better, struggling with a heroin addiction and even stealing her car.
Of her more recent lovers, there was one who she fittingly named Snappers McCreepy; he took naked pictures of her without her knowing. When asked about her previous relationships, Rousey admitted that as strong as she is physically, she’s a big pushover emotionally and values herself less when it comes to romantic relationships.
1. She Paved The Way For Other Female Fighters
Ronda Rousey is a major part of the reason why there are now female UFC fighters, and why the women’s bantamweight title fight is always one of UFC’s biggest events. Thanks to Rousey’s success, there are now two women’s weight classes in the sport and an increasing amount of female fighters in the UFC.
As Julie Kedzie, a former fighter, stated in an interview with Sports Illustrated, “she’s the reason [women] are in the UFC, but if we’re being honest, she’s elevated the whole sport.”