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Biography and Profile of Ronda Rousey

By

Ronda Roussey
Jeff Gross/Staff/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Ronda Rousey Biography Introduction:

Ronda Rousey only had four professional MMA bouts under her belt when she took on Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce Woman's Bantamweight Championship. Of course, those four fights had left an impression, all ending by way of first round armbar in her favor. But now she was taking on a champion, so things would be different, right? Well, not really.

Sure Tate fought hard; and yes, the fight nearly lasted twice as long as her four other combined bouts had. But in the end, Tate left like all other challengers had up to that point- hurting from a first round armbar loss.

Rousey is one of the true faces in female mixed martial arts. Here is her story.

Date of Birth:

Ronda Rousey was born on February 1, 1987, in Riverside County, California.

Nickname/Training Camp/Organization:

Rousey's nickname is "Rowdy". She trains with Team Hayastan and Glendale Fighting Club. Rousey fights for the UFC.

Early Life:

Rousey is the daughter of Ann Maria Rousey DeMars. Her mother was the first American to win at the World Judo Championships, taking home gold in the 1984 tournament in the -56 kg class. That said, her entrance into the world with her mother was quite difficult. She nearly died from umbilical cord asphyxiation at birth, which apparently left side effects. In her first official blog entry related to the Miesha Tate fight, Rousey indicated that she could not "speak coherently," until the age of six as a result.

“I just remember being frustrated all the time, because I knew in my head what I wanted to say, but for some reason no one could ever understand me; my words came out as gibberish.”

Despite the fact that things started out tough, Rousey demonstrated athleticism as a child, competing in swimming. Her father was reportedly her biggest cheerleader until he died when she was only eight years old. This led to her taking up her mother's sport, judo, in lieu of swimming.

And thus, a star was born.

Training in Judo as a Youngster:

An interview by Chad Morrison at the Akari Judo Club indicates that Rousey was helped by her mother early on with judo, but still kept her distance, at least to an extent, when it came to coaching.

"My mom always volunteered to take a backseat in my training," she said. "She taught me all she could but never insisted on being my head coach. And I'm glad she did because I really needed a Mom, someone I could cry and complain to when training was over. You have to hate you coach some days, that's their job, and I didn't want to hate my mother. I started working with the Pedros (Jim Sr., Jimmy) when I was 16, they kicked me out and invited me back several times between 2003-2009 when I finally quit and left on my own. I've had dozens of coaches help me for shorter periods during my career, including the Cohens, Numerous coaches from Nanka (SoCal), and Isreal Hernandez who traveled with me and sat in my chair from 07-08, but I had the longest relationship with the Pedros."

Rousey participated in her first judo tournament at the age of 11.

Never Say Die Attitude:

Rousey's mother certainly worked to instill a level of toughness in her daughter. The female MMA fighter has offered several stories relating to her mother's push to have her fight through pain and adversity. Here's one of them:

"I was 11 years old and I broke my big toe doing judo," Rousey wrote. "To an 11-year-old this is a very big deal, so I stopped fighting and started to cry. My mother then made me run laps around the mat for the rest for the night. I thought she was just being cruel at the time but she told me, "Sometimes you have to fight when you're injured. You need to know you're capable of that."

Judo Tournament Highlights/Olympic Medalist:

Rousey became the youngest judo player in the entire 2004 Olympic Games when she qualified for the team in 2004 at the age of 17. During that same year, she took home gold at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

In April 2006, Rousey won gold at the Birmingham World Cup in England. Then she became the first U.S. athlete to ever win two Junior World medals, taking home a bronze at the Junior World Championships.

In 2007, she won a silver medal in the 70 kg class at the 2007 World Judo Championships, and a bronze at the 2007 Pan Am Games.

The crowning achievement on her judo career came in the 2008 Olympic Games, where she won a bronze medal by defeating Annett Boehm by Yuko.

Early MMA Career/Taking the Strikeforce Bantamweight Title:

On August 6, 2010, Rousey won her first amateur MMA bout at CFL: Ground Zero by first round armbar over Hayden Munoz. She accumulated a perfect amateur record of 3-0, with all wins coming by first round armbar, before making her professional debut on March 27, 2011, against Ediene Gomez at a King of the Cage event. She won her debut by armbar after only 25 seconds had gone by in the first round.

After accumulating two more professional victories by first round armbar, Rousey took on Miesha Tate for the Strikeforce Woman's Bantamweight Championships. After a lot of pre-fight chatter, the bout finally went down at Strikeforce 39 on March 3, 2012. Though Tate fought hard, in the end she succombed to a very deep armbar in the first round.

With the win, Rousey became a champion.

Some of Rousey's Greatest MMA Wins:

  • Rousey defeats Liz Carmouche by first round armbar at UFC 157: First fight in the UFC for Rousey. Heck, first fight for females in the organization, period. And after almost getting neck cranked by a game fighter in Carmouche, she managed to make a comeback. Awesome performance!
  • Rousey defeats Miesha Tate by first round armbar at Strikeforce 39: For the first time in her MMA career, Rousey fought a woman that took her deep into round one. But in the end, the majority of the fight found Tate defending armbar attempts on the ground. Eventually, she was unable to escape. With this win, Rousey silenced many of her critics.
  • Rousey defeats Ediene Gomes by first round armbar at King of the Cage: Someone's first professional MMA fight always matters. In Rousey's case, she won by armbar after only 25 seconds had gone by in round one.
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