Little did Ronda Rousey realize that when she grew up and called time on her judo career, that she’d end up transitioning to, and eventually dominating the world of MMA. She’s essentially solely responsible for changing the way women’s fighting is perceived, how women’s MMA is promoted and the amount publicity the sport now gets. She’s basically a legend, one of the best female fighters, and athletes full stop, of all time, and she deserves everything that’s come her way.
As she began to rise to the top, we began to know more and more about Ronda, what she gets up to, aspects of her personal life and what make her tick inside and out of the octagon. She’s an enigmatic figure to say the least, but I’m sure everyone would agree that MMA and UFC is all the better for it, for having her in the mix. But over the years, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Ronda, her rise to the top and subsequent fall from grace after successive losses has meant she’s faced plenty of trials and tribulations, turbulent times. There’ve been plenty of highs but there have also been plenty of low moments in Ronda’s career and personal life that both she and the UFC don’t really want you to know about, as it might reflect badly on them and their star athlete.
15 Gotta Catch 'Em All
Having trained in judo for pretty much her whole life, of course Ronda’s going to have hobbies, things she gets up to when she’s not fighting, but not many people would’ve expected Ronda to be a huge Pokémon fan. She’s not just a fan either, she’s an obsessed fan.
Those at the helm of UFC probably wouldn’t care she’s into Pokémon. Some may say it may harm her hard-woman image a tad, her fighting persona, but those people would just be looking too much into it. But UFC probably were concerned when Ronda came outright and said because it’s an obsession and it’s affected her preparation for fights in the past. She’s missed training sessions, has missed meals, all because she can’t put that game down. It’s a gaming addiction alright, and one the UFC hopes Ronda’s able to get a grip of!
14 Street Fighting
Back in her high school days, Ronda was already one of the best judokas around, and used her skills to get some extra cash. She used to challenge guys to fights, just random guys on the street, so she could get some cash which she used to spend in Starbucks on frappuccinos for her and her buddy. Not a lot of guys would’ve appreciated being challenged to a fight by a 14-year-old girl, so you can bet your bottom dollar plenty of guys took her up on her offer, and that plenty of guys ended up having to hand over their cash and slink away with their tails between their legs.
UFC doesn’t really want people to know their star athlete used to street fight for cash. It’s not really a good image, not what they want fans to be emulating, although back then, it was the only way Ronda felt she could earn a bit of cash – she used her skills to pay the bills so to speak!
13 Relationship with Travis Browne
Ronda Rousey’s only just confirmed her engagement to fellow UFC competitor, Travis Browne, who proposed to her under a waterfall in New Zealand – romantic stuff! They’ve been dating since 2015, and I’m sure UFC and all their fans would be wishing them well. But one person who won’t be is Travis’ now ex-wife, Jenna Renee Webb. The pair had a tumultuous marriage, which included alleged physical violence by Travis, which led to him being removed from UFC events. Of course, UFC wouldn’t want people to recollect aspects of this domestic abuse case, but Ronda didn’t exactly behave like an angel when their marriage was on the rocks.
Just days after Travis came out and said that his marriage was fantastic, Ronda came into their room after Travis had lost to Arlovski and gave Jenna a hug, “all the while sleeping with my husband,” as Jenna said on Twitter. Also, in a later interview, Ronda revealed they’d started dating in April, which was a month before Travis said his marriage was great. Inevitably Travis and Jenna split, and Ronda was officially in the picture.
12 Had An Eating Disorder
When Ronda was growing up, she had some severe mental demons that took a hold of her, and battled issues with her body image, body dysmorphia, which isn’t great for anyone let alone an athlete of Ronda’s calibre, and this led to her developing an eating disorder. She once had bulimia. She felt she was always too big, carrying too much weight, struggled to stay in her weight class, and consequently forced herself to vomit up the contents of her stomach after a binge eating session. She felt guilty about eating due to the way she felt she looked, how she felt, but thankfully she overcame these issues and is now much more relaxed about what and how much she consumes. Some may say she’s even gone the other way; she’s got a penchant for buffalo wings with blue cheese and hot sauce – she can consume 60 in one sitting! Now that’s impressive stuff.
11 Battled Substance Abuse
Her mental demons weren’t just limited to body dysmorphia, to how she looked. She’s had a lot to contend with during the course of her life, and she’s definitely a stronger person because of all the trials and tribulations she’s gone through, but at times she’s needed coping mechanisms and those have come in the form of consuming drugs and alcohol. Her drug and alcohol addictions coincided with her eating disorder, and it all happened during her late teens and early 20s.
After winning bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ronda basically took a year off to party, and it’s during this time she began to develop a dependency on alcohol, Vicodin and pot, her drugs of choice. But when she began getting into MMA, her love for everything it entailed meant she ditched those nasty habits, and is certainly all the better for it, as is the UFC.
10 Dana White Relationship Rumors
Back when Dana White was trying to sign Ronda Rousey to the UFC, the two were often seen together, boarding planes, out for dinners and it was basically White doing everything he could to sign Rousey to the UFC, as she was clearly a rising star in the sport. Because they were spending so much time together, rumors began to flow that Rousey and White were in fact dating, but Rousey addressed in her book My Fight that those rumors were flat out false. She went on to say:
"It was annoying, but it was also kind of cool in that, you know, I was flying around on a private plane, being spoiled. But, it was annoying in that I kept getting built up and then let down and built up and let down. And it happened, like, three times until they surprised me."
It was all business and just White trying to ink the fighting star. Still, just the fact that rumors surfaced are irritating enough for the UFC to want to forget all about it.
9 Snappers McCreepy
Ronda’s dating history hasn’t always been roses, and on more than a few occasions it’s safe to say that this aspect of her private life has affected her mentally and has consequently spilled over into her professional commitments with UFC.
That whole Snappers McCreepy incident is one such incident. She’s called the guy in question, Snapper McCreepy, because he was essentially creepily taking naked snaps of Ronda without her knowledge. Her boyfriend took nude photos, and so understandably Ronda was furious, dumped his ass, but also started freaking out thinking he was going to post them online. So what did Ronda do? She posted pics of herself she wanted people to see, so her ex wouldn’t have the satisfaction of ridiculing her, and those nude pics for the ESPN Body Issue edition, were classy, and were just absolutely amazing. She must have gotten her confidence back after getting all the amazing feedback, but it must have taken a knock and that whole incident must have affected her for quite some time, if not still to this day.
8 Hasn't Always Been In The Best Shape
I’m sure most of you would agree that Ronda’s one of the hottest MMA fighters around. What make her so hot is the fact she’s not one of these women who gets dolled up every time the cameras appear; she’s comfortable in her own skin. But because of her now liberal attitude when it comes to dieting, and her extra-curricular activities which aren’t necessarily great for being in prime physical condition, she hasn’t always been in the best shape, and hasn’t always looked like a professional athlete that someone of Ronda’s calibre should look.
There’ve been occasions where she doesn't look to be in fight shape. Sure, she didn’t have fights on the horizon during those times, but even so, the UFC would want one of their best – if not their best – athlete to at least look like one, even when not in the octagon.
7 She Is Horrible To Be Around In Training Camp
Different fighters have different ways of dealing with the leadup to a fight. Some are just totally chilled out, try to have a relaxed frame of mind – if you met some of the fighters, you probably wouldn’t have a clue that they had a fight on the horizon. But others are really intense, and as the days creep ever closer, the stress just builds and builds, and sometimes it explodes in the form of anger, which is unleashed on the fighter’s nearest and dearest. That’s exactly what Ronda’s like. A couple of weeks out from a fight, she begins to get really stressed, and really angry, to the point where she’s actually pretty horrible to be around, as her sister – who’s bared the brunt of all that stress – has revealed.
6 She Contemplated Suicide
There’s no doubting the fact that Ronda had a pretty tough time of things growing up. Not only did she have that speech impediment that seriously affected her childhood, she had to contend with a family tragedy that no one should have to go through. Ronda’s dad committed suicide when she was eight, and incidentally, his dad took his own life too.
Ronda was in bits after her defeat to Holly Holm, and thought about doing the same, after battling with serious depression. She revealed what she went through to all on the Ellen DeGeneres show, and was just so open about wanting to take her own life that it shocked a lot of people, but of course, unfortunately suicide's not something new in Ronda’s family, hence she was able to speak very candidly about her state of mind.
5 Let's Party
This isn’t a bad thing, as Ronda’s a prominent athlete and she needs to let her hair down once in a while, but when she’s spotted out drinking and getting up to all sorts before a fight, you can be sure UFC isn't best pleased when those kind of pics surface. Now I’m not talking a day or two before the fight – that really would be ludicrous. But on occasions, weeks before a fight, when most fighters would be knuckling down and would have everything in check, Ronda’s been seen drinking and smoking, not great for a champion, a role model to many, who should be in the middle of a training camp. Ronda likes to have a good time, but UFC must be hoping she abstains from those shenanigans until after her fights.
4 Pre-Fight Antics
Okay, so this is new. You don’t really hear about fighters having lots of sex before fights, it’s normally the other way around. Whether it’s boxers or MMA competitors, fighters usually abstain from sex, sometimes for weeks before a fight, in an effort to get themselves really angry, really frustrated, which they can then unleash on their opponent. There’s also the reward factor that comes into play; sacrifice having sex while in training camp, then go at it like rabbits when everything’s done and dusted. But Ronda doesn’t see it like that. She’s openly said she has lots of sex before fights – as much as possible – because, as a woman, it raises her testosterone levels. That’s one new aspect of training, of her pre-fight prep, that the UFC probably don’t want people replicating.
3 Not a Fan of Media Activity
This may sound a tad odd for someone who always seems to be in the limelight, for someone who appears on chat shows, for someone who’s a movie star for god sake. But it’s true, Ronda hasn’t always been accessible to the media, and for the UFC, with her being their major star, it means they haven’t been able to sell their product the way they’d have wanted, causing more than a few headaches I’m sure. It’s also got other fighters on her and the UFC’s back, because the prospect of taking part in press conferences and having media interaction doesn’t exactly fill a lot of fighters with joy, but it’s still something they have to do.
During UFC 207 fight week, Ronda refused to speak to the media, didn’t do any promotional activity to promote her fight with Amanda Nunes, and ended up skipping the post-fight press conference too. Not a lot of fighters could get away with doing that, and it must have made things pretty problematic for UFC.
2 May Never Fight Again
After two successive defeats, the latest of which was a crushing defeat to Amanda Nunes, Ronda’s gone off the radar a bit. She's taken a lot of time to herself to try and figure out if she wants to fight again after two debilitating defeats which really knocked her career back.
There’s no new fights in the pipeline, and since Ronda’s been very candid about her thoughts and feelings after the fight, it’s led to lots of speculation as to whether or not she’ll ever grace a UFC event again. Of course, the UFC wouldn’t want this to happen, because despite her two crushing losses, she’s still a champion in their eyes, and still the major drawcard at events, so calling it quits would be a disaster for the UFC.
1 Dana White Opposed The Notion Of Female Fighters
Before November 2012, UFC president, Dana White, had never even entertained the notion of signing female fighters to the UFC. In fact, he’d come out and said that he was against the idea of female fighters and actually vowed to never promote them, and this led to a lot outcry from fighters in different divisions, with different promotions around the world. But the UFC noticed a gem in Ronda Rousey, and they ended up signing her, making her the first female fighter to get a contract with UFC.
UFC and especially Dana White wouldn’t really want you to know that she was the first female fighter to sign for UFC, because it just highlights what he previously thought about female fighters, not something he’d really want people to get into again.