Ronda Rousey

By: Dalton Smith

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Early Life

Ronda Rousey was born February 1, 1987 in Riverside, California. Rousey's childhood was somewhat troubled, as she had issues early on with speech due to her apraxia. When Rousey was 8 years old, her father committed suicide after breaking his back while sledding with his daughters and learning that he would become a paraplegic. Rousey dropped out of high school and received her G.E.D.

Judo Career

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Early Judo Training

Rousey's mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was the first United States citizen to win gold in a World Judo Tournament. Rousey began to follow in her mother's footsteps when she started training at age 11. Rousey's mother suggested Judo to help her take out some of her frustration with schoolwork. Rousey continued to train with her mother until she was 13, when she accidentally broke her mother's wrist.

Olympic and Professional Judo Career

Rousey joined the United States Olympic team when she was 15, leading to her dropping out of high school. She qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games at age 17, making her the youngest person participating in Judo at the Games. Although Rousey didn't win a medal at the 2004 Games, she won gold at the World Junior Judo Championships and at the Pan American Judo Championships that year.


In 2006, Rousey went 5-0 in the Birmingham World Cup to win gold. She also became the first United States athlete to ever win two Junior World medals, as she took bronze in the Junior World Championships. Rousey also retained her Pan American Judo title that year.

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2007 was a monumental year for Rousey, as she became ranked among the top three women in the world in her weight division. She won a gold medal at the Pan American Games and a silver medal at World Judo Championships.


At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Rousey won a bronze medal, making her first American to ever win an Olympic medal in women's judo.

UFC Career

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After training and fighting in lower-level MMA competitions, Rousey became the first woman to sign to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2012. This revolutionized the world of MMA and led to a much greater popularity in women's combat sports.


Rousey became the UFC Bantamweight Champion and dominated the women's division, winning 12 straight fights and becoming known for her devastating submissions. Rousey quickly became one of the most popular names in all of MMA, further progressing women's sports.

Rousey vs. Holm

On November 14th, 2015, Rousey faced Holly Holm in a title defense, but eventually received her first professional loss in the UFC by KO. Rousey has not fought in a match since then, but she plans to return to fighting and reclaim her title after recovering from her injury.