Ronda Rousey has built quite a career for herself. From an accomplished judoka and Olympic medallist to undisputed UFC champion, the queen of MMA, WWE superstar and now actress and author, Ronda’s climbed the ranks to stardom and has done so pretty quickly.

A decade ago, she was something of an unknown entity. Sure, she had won bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics, but things really started to take off for Ronda, she became known to the masses, when she became the first woman to sign for the UFC and subsequently became the promotion’s first female champion.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Ronda. She’s worked hard, aimed to succeed from a young age, and it has paid off. There have been highs and lows, moments of elation and utterly forgettable moments. But regardless of what she’s gone through since UFC and what’s on the horizon, she’ll always remember where it all started. These are 18 pics depicting such moments, those early days before she became Ronda Rousey the megastar.

Ronda Rousey early years pictures and video online

18Starting Out Early

via: pinterest.pt

The journey to the top starts early. It’s a long and hard struggle. Practice, persevere and enjoy the journey along the way. But at this age, it’s just a dream. Ronda was just practicing judo for the love of it. But even at such a tender age, her talent was evident. She was already winning tournaments, making a name for herself in the junior ranks.

17Olympic Athlete

via: rondarouseymma.com

Those into judo knew of Ronda from when she was quite young. But Ronda gained a bit more of a fan following, became known to the wider sporting world when she achieved a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Here’s her profile pic depicting Ronda smiling before the games. She was just thrilled to be representing her country on the national stage.

16Team Judo

via: reddit.com

Representing Team USA as a judoka was the first time Ronda really started to believe that she could make something of this. She was already dreaming of success, although even she couldn’t have envisaged all that was to come her way in the coming decade. This is where it all started for Ronda.

15Family Pic

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Ronda Rousey’s big on family. She’s close to her whole family. They’ve been there through it all, throughout all the highs and lows, and have helped her reach the top. Here they are in their younger days, Ronda with her mom and two sisters. The women in the Rousey family share a tight bond that’s only strengthened over time.

14With Dad

via: evolve-mma.com

It’s tragic what Ronda and her family endured back in the day. Ronda’s dad was her world, but an accident left him with only years to live. Ronda was just eight years old at the time, when Ron Rousey, rather than live his remaining years as a paraplegic, decided to take his own life.

13Judo Days

via: instagram.com

Here’s another pic of Ronda when she was a judoka. She loved it so much, gained so many skills and learned so many life lessons, that now she wants to give something back. The pupil is now a teacher. Ronda is now teaching people the art of judo, instilling in them the same life lessons that have held Ronda in good stead over the years.

12Old Head Shot

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This is an old school headshot from Ronda’s younger days. She still has the same cheeky smile, that grin that’s warmed the hearts of many over the years. Ronda had to contend with plenty of trials and tribulations during her childhood. But she got through the tough times with the support of her family and never stopped smiling.

11Rowdy Ronda Rousey

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Ronda’s been labeled with many nicknames over the years. One which has stuck, which she’s adopted and used herself, is Rowdy Ronda Rousey. It’s one that was inherited from the wrestler Roddy Piper. Here’s the rowdy one, the calm before the storm, getting her head into gear before stepping out into the octagon. This is Ronda keeping calm and collected before it’s time to unleash hell in the octagon and take care of business.

10Childhood Memories

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Ronda may have progressed to mega-stardom, but she hasn’t forgotten the journey she went through, those early days and those special people who helped shape her. This is Ronda aged 12 years old with one of her best buddies from childhood. She fought with Leanne Oba every weekend during training for years and years and loves and respects her as a sister.

9A Veteran’s Daughter Remembers Dad On Veteran’s Day

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Ronda grew up being close to her whole family, but she was particularly close to her dad. Ron was a veteran and instilled in her certain values and lessons that she stills try to uphold to this day. This was a touching photo posted by Ronda on Veteran’s Day in remembrance of her father.

8Aged 14

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Here’s another throwback pic posted by Ronda. Her sister, Julia was about five in this pic, making Ronda 14 or 15 years old. She’s well built for her age, already has the strength from practicing judo for many years. Another thing about this pic that we can see is that Ronda had style too, even during those experimental teenage years.

7Sisterly Love

via: evolve-mma.com

People say the bond between sisters is unbreakable. Ronda and her sisters Julia, Jennifer, and Maria, would certainly agree. Regardless of how busy Ronda’s been over the years, she always finds time for a bit of sisterly bonding. That sisterly love is as strong as ever and is unlikely to ever die down.

6The Aftermath Of Her Victory Against Sarah D’Alelio

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Her early career in the world of MMA was uneventful. Ronda steadily climbed the ranks. She used her stint with Strikeforce as a stepping stone to get contracted with the UFC. But it was after that first fight with Sarah D’Alelio that people really began to sit up and take notice. She found a new level of fame and it caught the attention of the UFC.

5Daddy-Daughter Day

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It’s clear to see that Ronda was something of a daddy’s girl. She was always by his side when younger, and just loves reminiscing and sharing those daddy-daughter moments. Unfortunately, she can only call upon these happy memories because her dad is no longer around. She must have missed him being by her side dearly during all those triumphant moments over the years.

4A Day To Be Proud Of

via: mmajunkie.usatoday.com

This was a day that Team USA was incredibly proud of. Most athletes would be too. After all, winning a medal for your country isn’t an everyday occurrence. But Ronda sets incredibly high standards for herself and was bitterly disappointed coming away from the Olympics with only a bronze medal around her neck.

3Where It All Started

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How did Ronda get into judo all those years ago? Her mom was a decorated judoka. In fact, AnnMaria De Mars was the first American judoka to win a World Judo Championship. It’s little wonder why Ronda followed suit in an attempt to try and replicate and better those lofty accomplishments.

2Climbing The Ranks Through Strikeforce

via: mma-core.com

Women’s MMA and the Strikeforce promotion really started to gain popularity around the time Ronda fought Julia Budd. This was largely due to Ronda and her performances. This was a memorable fight for Ronda, because it was after defeating Julia Budd that she really started to think about fighting for championships.

1Around The Time It All Began To Take Off

via: en.wikipedia.org

Ronda started to enjoy a significant amount of fame and superstardom when she joined UFC. This pic was taken in 2012, around the time she got contracted with the promotion. Her subsequent rise to the top would be meteoric. It’s staggering to think that it was only seven years ago!