She is known as the baddest woman on the planet, a nickname that may be inaccurate because it suggests that she is only dominant against those within her gender. Ronda Rousey has become more than just the top draw of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and an undefeated and possibly unbeatable competitor. She is the top draw in the sport and also a cultural icon, a figure who fills arenas and also sports bars around the world whenever she steps into the cage to dismantle an opponent who realistically does not have a chance of pulling off the upset.
Rousey has been a once-in-a-generation athlete even before she broke into the mainstream via the UFC, and her career has been fascinating to follow over the past several years. Women’s mixed martial arts could have not have asked for a better champion to be the face of the sport in a world that is dominated by 24-7 coverage and by social media websites such as Twitter. That Rousey is a superstar who attracts attention whenever she fights can no longer be debated. How much and how quickly she will rise is all that is left to find out, and it appears that she cannot be stopped by any opponent.
10. Rousey at the ESPYs
Ronda Rousey is a champion who has never been shy about speaking her mind, and that was the case at the 2015 edition of the ESPY awards show. Rousey twice brought up the history of domestic violence had by boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, joking that she wondered how Floyd felt “being beaten by a woman for once.” Mayweather once commented that he did not know who Rousey was. You can be certain that he knows who Rousey is now, and that name is one that he will not soon forget. Do you think he’d last a round in the cage with the Rowdy one? Too bad we’ll never find out.
9. Rousey Wins Gold
The inevitable became reality in March 2012 when Rousey was presented with an opportunity to win the Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship. Miesha Tate stood in the way of Rousey and the glory of being a champion, and Tate proved to be little opposition in this first meeting of the two. Rousey hoisted the gold after tapping Tate out with her armbar submission that is similar to a pro wrestling finishing hold in that you know a match is over when Rousey locks it on. A future star was born, and Rousey’s ascent into mainstream media had been launched.
8. Rousey Defeats Sara McMann
Sara McMann looked legitimately intimated in the cage as she stared into the intense eyes of Rousey. It turned out that McMann had a good reason to have some fear in her heart. Rousey nailed McMann with a knee right to the gut seconds after the one-minute mark of the first round, and McMann crumbled to the mat as the referee stepped in to put a halt to the encounter for good. After Rousey had her hand raised in victory, some made comments that McMann went to the ground rather easily. Those individuals have obviously never taken such a hard shot to their stomachs.
7. Rousey Defeats Ediane Gomes
The professional mixed martial arts world was forever changed in March of 2011 when Rousey made her professional debut versus Ediane Gomes. Gomes became just the first of many pro victims to fall to Rousey via the armbar submission, and the fight officially lasted only 25 seconds before Rousey released the hold following the referee’s instructions. Rousey is a bit raw, understandably so at that point of her young career, but you can, upon watching that video, see a future star was in the cage on that night. The start of Rousey’s run toward history, fame and fortune began, fittingly, with a quick tapout.
6. Tate Takes Rousey to Round 3
There was once a time when it was speculated that Rousey would be vulnerable if she was ever taken past the first round in a fight. That theory was tested at UFC 168 when Miesha Tate survived past two rounds and also multiple submission attempts. Rousey kept a cool head and maintained her composure, and Tate eventually fell victim to the armbar finisher in the third round. It has since been somewhat overstated how well Tate performed on that night. Sure, she made it past rounds 1 and 2, but was there ever really a doubt that Rousey was going to get the job done on that night?
5. Rousey at WrestleMania
Rousey has publicly spoken about her love of pro wrestling – her “Rowdy” nickname is a tribute to Roddy Piper, one of Rousey’s favorite performers and a man who passed away the day before she defeated Bethe Correia at UFC 190. Fellow followers of World Wrestling Entertainment potentially got a glimpse of the future when Rousey took it to both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon inside of the ring at WrestleMania 31. It has long been rumored that Rousey could follow the footsteps of Brock Lesnar and one day make the switch from MMA to pro wrestling. She should never lose if she does.
4. Rousey Defeats Alexis Davis
An outside observer may have, upon watching Rousey take care of Alexis Davis in just 16 seconds at UFC 175, thought that the champion was just being mean to her over-matched opponent. Rousey connected with a knee strike to the body, grabbed hold of Davis, threw the overwhelmed opposition to the mat and then hit several punches to the face before the match was mercifully called off. Any and all doubts that critics may have had about Rousey only being able to win via armbar were put to bed for good, and a star was being made before our very eyes.
3. Rousey Speaks on Body Shaming
The subject of feminism, body shaming and of her own body came up as Rousey was preparing to face off with Bethe Correia at UFC 190. Her responses to those issues and to criticisms that she has encountered over the years were incredible, yet another banner moment that has occurred during her public life. Yes, there is some not-safe-for-work language that will have you reaching to either turn your computer’s audio down or to put headphones on so that only you can hear the audio. It is well worth it to hear Rousey explain just why she is so badass.
2. Rousey Defeats Cat Zingano
14 seconds. That is all that Rousey needed to dispatch of Cat Zingano at UFC 184, and that remains the shortest fight in the history of the company. Zingano chose to approach Rousey right at the start of the encounter, and all she got for her decision was to be thrown down to the mat before being placed in the armbar submission. The fight was over in the time it would take you to order a beer at your local pub, but nobody watching could complain that they did not receive proper entertainment from watching Rousey thoroughly dominate Zingano in historic fashion.
1. Rousey Knocks Bethe Correia Out
Brazilian Bethe Correia thought it wise to get a bit lippy with Rousey before the two faced off at UFC 190. That proved to be a poor strategy. Rather than go to her trademark armbar submission, Rousey did not even attempt to take Correia down. The champion instead stood and out-slugged the striker, hitting Correia with a knee to the body and then two punches to the face to knock her opponent out in 34 seconds. It was, to date, the most-dominating performance of Rousey’s career, and it offered yet another example that she may have no equal in the sport as of August 2015.