The Beauty in the Beast: The Rise of Ronda Rousey
What can you do in 130 seconds?
Run up to the second floor of your office? Make a quick trip to your room to pick up something you forgot? Prepare a meal you'd take with you for breakfast?
What else can you do in 130 seconds?
Ronda Rousey demolished her latest four challengers within that time frame, by either knocking them out or making them submit with her devastating arm bar.
Aside from her accolades as a prized fighter, Ronda Rousey is a walking oxymoron. A beautiful woman shining in a bloody sport dominated mostly by men, and her two-faced personality of laid back and friendly demeanor outside the ring contradicts her ferociousness in it.
Like most cliche sports stories with video montages and matching cheesy inspirational background music, Ronda Rousey had humble beginnings. Born on February 1, 1987 in Riverside, California, she struggled to speak in the first six years of her life. The umbilical cord wrapped around her neck at birth caused the disorder.
That was not the only setback in Rousey's young life, her father committed suicide when she was eight because he would have to live the rest of his life as a paraplegic. Her latest opponent, Bethe Correia, poked fun at this tragedy in her life, but Ronda managed to remain focused and demolished Correia in round 1.
Her mother, AnnMaria De Mars had a decorated career as a Judoka, and was the first American Citizen to win a World Judo Championship in 1984. That must be where Rousey got her fighting genes.
Rousey's illustrious career as a fighter began at the tender age of 11, on the Judo mat. When she turned 17, she qualified for the Athens 2004 Olympics but failed to win a medal. She was more fortunate in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where she won a bronze medal in Judo, making her the first US woman to bag a medal in the sport.
Career in Mixed Martial Arts
After seeing that a career in mixed martial arts was a better option, Ronda Rousey decided to train in Muay Thai and boxing to prepare for the amateur circuit. It was a decision that did not pan out too badly for her.
Her first victim was Ediane Gomes whom she demolished in 25 seconds in the first round through submission by arm bar. After her first match, her string of first round victories continued either by knockout or submission. She sports a 12-0 record with eight of those matches ending in the first round in less than a minute; highlighted by a 14-second win by arm bar over Cat Zingano on UFC 184 in February 2015, the fastest title fight to finish by submission ever in UFC history.
The only blemish to her fighting career, if we could call it that, was her fight with Miesha Tate in UFC 168 on December 28, 2013. The fight lasted longer than usual, making it to the third round before Rousey put the arm bar on Tate that led to a submission victory.
Outside the Octagon
Ronda Rousey's success in the ring continued outside of it as she won both the 2015 Best Fighter and Female ESPY Awards. She also appeared on ESPN's the Body issue in 2012, posing nude with her hands and thighs placed strategically to cover some parts of her body.
She not only posed for magazines or racked awards. Rousey crossed over to Hollywood with guest appearances in "Entourage", fought with Michelle Rodriguez in "Furious 7" and shared the screen with veteran action stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Expendables 3".
Ronda Rousey's personality goes beyond her tenacity in the octagon. Her laid back and straightforward attitude won her fans outside the ring and crossed over into Hollywood.
Can you sum up a life in 130 seconds? The awards and record-breaking matches are only just the beginning for Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey.