Ronda Rousey has made a name for herself over the past few years after becoming a Champion in UFC. Rousey has also been linked to WWE since she appeared alongside The Rock at WrestleMania 31 and decided to pick a fight with Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon. Ronda cleared the ring at WrestleMania more than two years ago and speculation has suggested that she could join WWE in the near future ever since. Rousey was once the most feared woman in the world, but since her defeat to Holly Holm back in 2015 at UFC 193, Ronda has also lost to Amanda Nunes in what was her second straight UFC defeat in December 2016.
It’s been almost a year since Rousey set foot in the octagon but recently she has been seen cheering on her fellow member of the UFC Four Horsewomen Shayna Baszler in the Mae Young Classic. as well as potentially setting up a future clash between the two Four Horsewomen teams on both WWE and from UFC. While Ronda is now known worldwide because of her accomplishments in UFC before she lost her title to Holly Holm, there are still some unknown facts about Ronda’s life before she rose to fame as a UFC fighter.
Here are 15 pre-fame facts about one of the best known female fighters of this generation.
15. Ronda Had A Number Of Problems From Birth
Ronda was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck which almost killed her and also caused slight brain damage because of the lack of oxygen throughout the birthing process. This was something that haunted Ronda for a number of years even though she survived the ordeal, as there were lasting speech problems for her up until she was six-years-old.
Ronda had always stood out because she spoke differently than the other children but it seems that this is the tragic reason why Ronda is unable to speak properly. This affected the way she grew up physically and had an immense impact on her education for much of her early life. Ronda’s road into the world was obviously not a straightforward one, but it seems that this was only the beginning of her tragic childhood.
14. Ronda’s Father Took His Own Life When She Was Very Young
Tragedy stuck Ronda’s close family when her father fell and injured his back while he was out sledding with his daughters. His back was not healing the way the doctors thought that it would, and it was eventually discovered that he was suffering from a blood disorder. After some time he became a paraplegic and found out the would worsen and make him a quadriplegic in a number of years.
Ron was unable to live with the fact that he could become a quadriplegic and so made the decision to take his own life when Ronda was just eight-years-old. Ronda had finally reached a point where she was in control of her life and her speech was improving before her family was hit with more bad news.
13. Ronda Is A Huge Fan Of Dragon Ball Z And Pokemon
Ronda has proved over the past few years that she is a huge fan of professional wrestling and has been seen in attendance at a number of WWE events. Ronda even personally asked Rowdy Roddy Piper if she could take his Rowdy name and become Rowdy Ronda Rousey, which he agreed to.
It seems that on top of being a big fan of WWE, she is also a fan of Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon. Ronda even revealed that she was once a moderator on a Pokemon forum when she was a kid and has opened up many times about her love of Mew. Rousey is also a fan of World of Warcraft and stated in an interview that she mainly plays as a Night Elf Hunter, but also is levelling a Blood Elf Rogue.
12. She Lived Out Of Her Car For A Number Of Months
When Ronda was just 21-years-old she had decided to retire from Judo after competing in the sport for more than six years and hadn’t decided on a backup plan after her successful Olympic career.
Ronda was then forced to work as a bartender for a number of months and actually lived out of her car during this time while she tried to decide what it was that she wanted to do with her life moving forward. Fighting was always going to be part of Ronda’s life so it comes as no surprise that she finally found the Glendale Fight Club which is where she started her mixed martial arts career. It only took a few months before Ronda made her debut in August 2010 and it seems that she had finally found her new career.
11. Ronda Became Vegan Following The 2008 Olympic Games
Athletes adopt many different kinds of lifestyles that allow them to get by while training and attempting to maintain a certain weight. Bodybuilders are perhaps the most intense and prepare differently to many other athletes, but it seems that Ronda has also played around with a number of lifestyles over the years and even became a vegan for a period of time after she won a bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Whether it was because of the things that she saw while she was in China or whether she thought this was a good idea for a diet, it didn’t last very long since Ronda later described her diet in 2012 as “kind of a mix between a Paleo and a Warrior” as she attempted to remain on an organic diet.
10. Ronda Was Bullied In School When She Was Younger
Ronda had a tough childhood as you will read further down this list and it seems that the kids at school didn’t make her life that much easier either. Ronda discovered Judo when she was young and she said that this affected her body image and made her self-conscious around other people.
She is quoted as saying “When I was in school, martial arts made you a dork, and I became self-conscious that I was too masculine. I was a 16-year-old girl with ringworm and cauliflower ears. People made fun of my arms and called me Miss Man”. It seems that Ronda managed to turn her bullying experience into something positive, which is why she is such a good role model for children suffering from bullying right now.
9. Ronda Was Unable To Form Sentences In Her Youth
Ronda had a number of speech problems while she was growing up. She struggled with communication and could not form an intelligible sentence for a number of years due to apraxia, a neurological childhood speech/sound disorder.
Ronda and her family later moved from Riverside to Jamestown, Dakota when she was just three years old so that Ronda could have intensive speech therapy with specialists at the Minot State University. Ronda managed to get through this therapy and was able to come out fighting when she was six-years-old, but it seems that her speech problems that have haunted her from birth have continued to haunt her throughout her life. Ronda was the second youngest of four daughters but her parents still decided to always do what was best for her when she was growing up.
8. Ronda Won Her MMA Debut In Just 23 Seconds
Ronda comes from a fighting background and is the only one of her sisters who was able to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become successful as a fighter. Ronda was very successful in her Judo career, so much so that she was able to retire from it at just 21-years-old.
Ronda then moved on to a career in MMA just a year later when she joined Glendale fighting club and made her amateur debut in August 2010. Ronda faced Hayden Munoz in her debut match and unsurprisingly she made her tap out in just 23 seconds after she managed to lock in her lethal arm-bar. This was the move she would later be known for and one that her mother had taught her years before when she first took up Judo.
7. Ronda’s Mother Taught Her A Lot About Body Image
Ronda’s one of the most famous women in the world right now but the fact that she remains very close to her family and most notably her mother and her younger sister Julia seems to have kept her grounded.
In an age where anything that is put on the Internet can’t ever be deleted, it seems that Ronda’s mother gave her the best piece of advice when it comes to photos that will be shared on social media. Rousey explained that her mom told her not to let any photos she wouldn’t want her 13 year old future child to see get online. This is obviously something that always stuck with Ronda even after her ESPN body issue.
6. Ronda Is The Second Youngest Of Four Siblings
It perhaps comes as quite a shock for many fans of the former UFC fighter, but even though Ronda doesn’t get on well with others and seemingly has selfish tendencies when it comes to being the one who dominates any ring she steps into, she is actually the second youngest of four daughters.
Ronda has two older sisters named Maria and Jennifer and one younger half-sister named Julia. Ronda is very close to her family and states that all of her sisters are important to her. Rousey is closest to Julia, who played a younger version of her in her UFC 193 promo video. Julia also seems to have adopted the sports gene as well since she plays soccer in high school. Julia is the only daughter of Ronda’s mother and her stepfather and is much younger than her three sisters.
5. Ronda’s Mother Remarried After Her Father’s Tragic Death
Ronda was very close to her father growing up and was actually out sledding with him when the accident occurred that saw him become a paraplegic. Following his tragic suicide, Ronda found life hard to deal with after being so close with her father. It may be that she was pushed into Judo by her mother as a way to get rid of the frustration and aggression she was feeling.
Ronda’s mother was also affected by her husband’s death but she managed to move on and remarry not long after his tragic passing. Ronda’s stepfather is an aerospace engineer and it’s nice to see that her mother was able to move forward with her life and help Ronda move on with hers after seeing how much her youngest daughter had been affected by the tragedy.
4. Ronda Competed in Judo
At just 15-years-old Ronda was named to the United States Olympic Judo team and a year later she became the youngest American to earn the national number one ranking in the women’s half middleweight division. Ronda later claimed gold at that year’s World Junior and Pan American Judo Championships but was unable to lift a medal at the 2004 Olympic games. The former UFC star went on to defend her Pan American Judo Championship in 2006 and became the first American woman in 12 years to earn a World Championship medal when she finished second in the 2007 tournament. She later won gold at the 2007 Pan American games despite having a knee injury. She was then part of the Olympic games once again in 2008 and made the shocking decision to retire from Judo at just 21-years-old.
3. Her Mother Was A Decorated Judoka
Ronda was once considered to be one of the toughest women in the world when she was the reigning UFC Champion, but it seems that this could have been an inherited trait all along, especially considering the fact that her mother was once a decorated Judoka.
Ronda’s mother AnnMaria De Mars was the first ever American to win a Judo Championship back in 1984. It was her mother that pushed her into Judo when she realised that her daughter had a lot of aggression that she needed to find an outlet for. Without her mother’s guidance or exposure to the sport, Rousey may never have found her way into the Octagon in the first place or ever have become a Champion in the company. Her mother gave up Judo when her daughters grew up and decided to instead pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of California.
2. Ronda Struggled In School Growing Up
It probably doesn’t come as that much of a surprise that Ronda was unable to focus in school and get along with other children, so she struggled through much of her childhood before she was taken out of school. She was then homeschooled for most of her elementary education and then later throughout her time in high school as well.
Ronda carried a lot of frustration in her life from her tragic upbringing and it was only when her mother introduced her to judo that she realized that there was an outlet for all of the aggression that she was feeling. Ronda’s mother then began training her daughter in the sport and taught her some of the moves that she would later become famous for all over the world.
1. Ronda Won An Olympic Bronze Medal In 2008
Ronda is a well-known athlete following her successful stint in UFC up until November 2015, but there was a time before Ronda was ranked as number one in the list of 50 most dominant female athletes alive.
Ronda got into Judo because of her mother’s accomplished background and after failing to win a medal at the 2004 Olympic Games, Ronda returned for the 2008 version of the games and this time she was able to receive a medal in Bejing. This medal meant that she became the first American to win an Olympic medal in women’s Judo since its inception as an Olympic sport in 1992. This seemed to be the final feather in Ronda’s judo cap since she decided to retire from the sport when she was 21-years-old and didn’t move on to a career in MMA until she was 22.
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