In the world of sports, there are only so many true trailblazers in history. One of the most recent examples of that, when Ronda Rousey entered the world of MMA it was a total boys' club but she was able to make such a big name for herself that she forever changed the sport. Currently retired from professional fighting, because she was able to change the minds of the people behind the UFC the company now has three female champions.
Evidently not done with the spotlight when she left fighting behind, Rousey opted to become a professional wrestler and she signed with the WWE. Highly successful during her time with that company, she and several other women managed to break down barriers in the WWE. With all of that in mind, it is time to look at this list of little-known facts about Ronda Rousey.
20 She Considered A Completely Different Profession
As one of the most famous athletes in the world, Ronda Rousey clearly made a fortune throughout her professional career. Amazingly enough, however, she could have gone down a very different route as her sister has revealed that she wanted to be a marine biologist when she was young.
On top of that, she loved the sea so much that she regularly sketched dolphins.
19 She Had An Injury That Many Fighters Can Relate To
When it comes to professional fighters, it really is only a matter of time before they get injured. For example, Ronda Rousey has a cauliflower ear just like many of her peers do. Asked about that fact, Rousey revealed that she was teased for her ear when she was a teenager but now she takes pride in it.
In fact, she once even encouraged an interviewer to touch her cauliflower ear!
18 She Had Some Interesting Jobs Before She Attained Fame
Due to the fact that Ronda Rousey began her fighting career very early in her life, you may assume that she has never had a “normal” job.
However, she told UFC that long before she began making the big bucks she worked as a bartender, cocktail waitress, canine physical therapy assistant, and was an employee at 24 Hour Fitness.
17 She Wasn’t Just The First Female UFC Fighter
Even though it seems crazy today, it took Ronda Rousey’s undeniable success to convince the UFC to begin signing female fighters to major contracts.
While that is amazing enough, not only is Ronda Rousey the first woman the UFC ever signed to a contract but she was the first female athlete to be a SportsCenter guest anchor.
16 She Really Loves Dogs
As anyone that follows the sport of MMA should know, taking part in a training camp is an extremely intense experience. Despite that, Ronda Rousey loves dogs so much that she worked at CARE, California Animal Rehabilitation during one of her training sessions.
In that role, she helped dogs use an underwater treadmill, provided them with acupuncture and helped them get ultrasounds.
15 She Has A Strange Fear
In order for someone to make their living in combat sports, they need to be willing to deal with the pain that inevitably comes with fighting another person. As a result, there is no doubt that Ronda Rousey is a very tough person.
Amusingly enough, however, despite her willingness to take punishment during a fight, Rousey revealed during a 2015 Conan O'Brien interview that she fears paper cuts.
14 In Her Autobiography She Revealed She Once Served Someone Famous
As we touched on earlier in this list, prior to Ronda Rousey becoming a superstar she spent time as both a cocktail waitress and bartender.
As revealed in her My Fight Your Fight memoir, those jobs provided Rousey with an incredible opportunity. “I served Norm from Cheers…I figured that was the Holy Grail of bartending,” she said.
13 Ronda’s Mother Made Sure She Was Really Good At the Move That Made Her Career
Over the span of Ronda Rousey’s MMA career, she had a professional record of 12-2 with nine of those wins coming via armbar.
As for how she learned to apply her trademark move, Rousey told Fightline, “If your mom woke you up in the morning jumping on top of you and being like, ‘Always be ready. Armbar now!’ — that’s kind of like how it gets ingrained in your brain.”
12 Ronda Didn’t Take The Typical High School Route
Clearly a highly dedicated person from a very early age, years before Ronda Rousey made her MMA debut she was already training hard to make her body a force to be reckoned with.
In fact, she even chose to drop out of high school in order to spend all of her time learning her craft. Years later, Rousey decided to remedy her lack of scholastic achievement by getting her GED.
11 She Got Approval For Her Nickname From A Hall Of Famer
When it comes to Ronda Rousey’s MMA career, she succeeded not only because of her marvelous fight record but also because she marketed herself to the public.
As part of that effort, she began to be known as “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Inspired to take on that nickname to honor her personal hero, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, she even got his permission to be called that.
10 Ronda’s Mother Broke Ground Too
If there is one thing that everyone should know about Ronda Rousey’s mother, it is this: she is a formidable person.
For example, she was so physically talented that she managed to become the very first woman in America to win Gold at the World Judo Championships when she competed in the -56 weight class in 1984.
9 She Once Insulted An UFC Legend
Due to the fact that Georges St. Pierre held the record for most title bout wins in UFC history and he never lost his championships, it seems clear he will enter the Hall of Fame one day. Despite that, Ronda Rousey once disrespected GSP.
In a baffling move, during an interview Rousey told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "If GSP wasn't really good-looking, and really [from Canada], he would be really unknown."
8 She Really Likes Buffalo Wings
Ronda Rousey really likes Buffalo wings. In fact, she once told Fortune that whenever she has a fight, she scopes out the best place to get wings in that area.
Elaborating on that, she said, “I had a situation once where the Buffalo wing situation was not scouted, and I’m not going to lie, I cried that night.”
7 She Had Difficulty Speaking As A Young Child
Due to all of the success that Ronda Rousey has enjoyed in her life, you may think that most things have come easy to her. As it turns out, however, she had to overcome something major when she was still a kid.
She experienced a neurological childhood speech sound disorder called apraxia. Until Rousey was six years old, she was incapable of forming intelligible sentences.
6 She's A Huge Fan of Pokemon
Not only is Ronda Rousey passionate about MMA, wrestling, and buffalo wings, she also is a huge Pokemon fan. In fact, when she was interviewed by an MMAFightingonSBN reporter on a red carpet she boasted about her Pokemon love by saying,
“I’ve gotten every single version of every generation of the game.”
If that weren’t proof enough, she also moderated a Pokemon forum as a teen.
5 She Used To Write Fan Fiction
If there is one thing that this list should make very clear it is that when Ronda Rousey likes something she goes all in.
Yet another example of that, when she was a youngster she loved the show Animorphs so much that she even wrote some fan fiction stories about the series’ characters.
4 She Wore A Legend’s Jacket During Her WWE Run
As we touched on earlier in this list, Ronda Rousey is a huge fan of the wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Actually able to become a friend of Roddy’s before his untimely passing, she also came to know his family too.
Due to those relationships, she was given Roddy’s trademark leather jacket and she was received his family’s permission to wear it in the ring during her WWE appearances.
3 Her Life Wasn’t Always Glamorous
Long before Ronda Rousey became a household name, she was a Judo fighter who won a Bronze Medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Despite accomplishing that amazing feat, her life was far from glamorous once she returned from Beijing, where the games were held.
Actually, at that time she lived in her 2005 Honda in order to be near the two jobs she was working to stay afloat.
2 The Lead Up To Her First MMA Fight Was Highly Unusual
Two days before Ronda Rousey’s MMA debut, she stepped in when her mastiff fought another dog and she got an injury that required stitches.
Since fighters aren’t allowed to battle with an injury like that, Rousey insisted on being nude during her weigh-in in hopes that officials would be too distracted to notice her cut. Her gambit worked and she went on to defeat her opponent in 24 seconds!
1 Ronda Fought For Her Life Early On
Throughout Ronda Rousey’s professional life, she has made a living out of fighting her opponents. Years before she battled her first opponent, she was forced to fight for her life, as she revealed to Rolling Stone magazine.
Speaking about her birth, Rousey said, "I had the umbilical cord around my neck, causing hypoxia and I almost died of suffocation."
She's been a fighter since birth!
Sources: Rolling Stone, USA Today, Sport Skeeda, Fortune