American Ronda Rousey helped bring female mixed martial arts to a mainstream audience en route to becoming the first UFC women’s champion.
Born in 1987 in California, Ronda Rousey endured a tough childhood marked by speech problems and her father’s suicide. She became a judo champion, earning back-to-back golds at the Pan American Championships and a 2008 Olympic bronze medal. Rousey joined the mixed martial arts circuit in 2010, earning fame as the UFC Bantamweight Champion, before suffering her first loss in November 2015. In January 2018, she announced her move to the WWE pro wrestling circuit.
Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate
Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman
Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano
Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm
(Amanda Nunes) vs (Ronda Rousey)
Ronda Jean Rousey was born on February 1, 1987, in Riverside, California. Born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, Rousey nearly died from a lack of oxygen and sustained slight brain damage, which impeded her ability to speak an intelligible word until she was six.
A tragedy fell upon the family when Rousey’s dad, Ron, broke his back while sledding with his daughters. A blood disorder prevented him from healing properly, and after learning he would be a paraplegic then regress to a quadriplegic in the few years he had left to live, he committed suicide when Rousey was eight.
Rousey struggled in class and was homeschooled for parts of elementary and high school, but she found an outlet for her frustration when her mom, AnnMaria De Mars, persuaded her to learn judo. A gold medal–winning judoka at the 1984 World Championships, De Mars began drilling her daughter in some of the sport’s fundamentals, most notably the dreaded armbar used to pin an opponent to the mat.