No one could have predicted Ronda Rousey’s meteoric rise to fame and fortune. She started from humble beginnings but soon became one of the most successful athletes in the world. This biography tells her story – from her early days as a judo champion to her current reign as UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey is an inspiration to all who strive for greatness, and this biography chronicles her journey.
The Early Days
Ronda Rousey was born in Riverside, California, on February 1, 1987. She was the youngest of three girls. Ronda’s mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was the first American to win the World Judo Championship. Ronda’s father, Ron Rousey, sadly took his life when Ronda was only eight years old when he found out he will forever be a paraplegic due to an incident while sledding with his daughters.
The Judoka Years
Ronda began training in judo at the age of eleven. She quickly developed into a world-class competitor, winning multiple national and international championships. In 2004, she became the first American to win a gold medal at the Junior World Championships. That year, she was also the youngest judoka to qualify for the 2004 Olympic games, where she lost her first match to silver medalist Claudia Heill.
In 2006, Ronda became the first female U.S. judoka to win an A-level tournament in almost ten years. The said tournament was the Birmingham World Cup in Great Britain, where she went 5-0.
In 2007, Ronda went up a weight division (70 kg), where she won the silver medal at the 2007 World Judo Championships in the middleweight division and the gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.
The following year, Ronda made history again by becoming the first U.S. woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo, winning bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Rondas MMA Career
Ronda started her judo training at the Hayastan MMA Academy, where she trained with much larger male opponents, who she simply couldn’t throw as easily as she would have wanted to. Ronda went on record saying that from 2002 to 2005, she cried almost every night after training since she was so frustrated with her performance each and every night.
After her Olympic success, at 21 years old, Ronda transitioned into mixed martial arts through Team Hayastan. Ronda also trained at the Glendale Fighting Club under her long-term MMA coach Edmond Tarverdyan. Ronda trained with legends of the sport such as Ryron Gracie and Rener Gracie, as well as BJ Penn.
Ronda won her first MMA fight on August 6, 2010, where she defeated her opponent in 23 seconds via armbar. Ronda won her next four fights, two of them being after she made her professional debut via submission in the first round. Talk about making a statement.
The Strikeforce Days
Ronda made her Strikeforce debut on August 12, 2011, where she defeated Sarah D’Alelio via armbar in the first round. Ronda went on to defeat Julia Budd via, once again, armbar in the first round. On March 3, 2012, Ronda won the Women’s Strikeforce Bantamweight Champion via, you have guessed it, armbar. Not really a surprise anymore is it. Ronda defended her title against Sarah Kaufman, defeating her via armbar.
The UFC Rise To Stardom
In November 2012, Ronda was the first female fighter to sign with the UFC. She automatically became the UFC Bantamweight Champion. Ronda made her UFC debut against Liz Carmouche and won her first fight at the end of the first round via armbar. Ronda went on to successfully defend her UFC title six times, cementing her legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time while also accumulating more than a million dollars in prize money.
If you remember the days when Ronda was champion, you almost certainly remember the hype that was set around her. She and Connor McGregor were the most hyped-up people in the sport, not without reason, of course. They are, to an extent, responsible for putting UFC on the map of many fans that weren’t even aware of the sport not long ago.
However, in the world of MMA, no one is untouchable, not even Ronda. On November 15, 2015, at UFC 193, Ronda went on to face Holly Holm. What was supposed to be another easy win turned out to be her downfall. Holly knocked out Ronda in the second round via a high kick. After her loss, Ronda was in a bad mental state, even considering suicide; however, she thanfully overcame her demons.
Ronda came back at the end of 2016 to fight Amanda Nunes. Amanda defeated Ronda via TKO early in the first round. Ronda went on to say that she will probably never go back to MMA ever again.
In 2015, Ronda took her talents to Hollywood, appearing in several major motion pictures. She has also written a best-selling autobiography and launched a clothing line. More recently, Ronda has been active in the WWE circles, where she is one of the superstars of the promotion. Ronda Rousey truly was a force to be reckoned with, both inside and outside the Octagon. There is no doubt that she was one of the most inspiring athletes of our generation. Thanks for reading!