Ronda Rousey through the years: From a Judo Olympian to UFC champion and an ego ridden downfall

Ronda Rousey was born on February 1, 1987, in California, and grew up to become one of the most dominant and trailblazing athletes in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Her mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was a judo champion, which sparked Ronda’s interest in the sport.

Ronda Rousey with mom and sister
Ronda Rousey with mom and sister

At the age of 11, Ronda began training in judo, and it wasn’t long before she was excelling at the sport.


Ronda Rousey with mom and sister
Ronda Rousey with mom and sister

World Junior Judo Championships Gold Medalist

Ronda’s talent for judo became evident when she won a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships. From there, she continued to hone her skills, and her hard work paid off when she represented the US in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning a bronze medal.

MMA Champion

In 2010, Ronda turned her attention to MMA and quickly rose through the ranks. She signed with Strikeforce in 2011 and became the women’s bantamweight champion.

Dana White was initially reluctant to feature Women’s MMA, and was even quoted saying we’ll never see a woman in the UFC.

The following year, she joined the UFC and made history as its first women’s champion. Ronda went on a sixt win streak, finishing all opponents by submission, and became a crossover star, appearing in movies and TV shows.

Setback and Transition

However, Ronda suffered her first loss in a shocking upset to Holly Holm in 2015. The loss sent ripples through the MMA world, but Ronda didn’t give up.

She took a hiatus from MMA and pursued a career in professional wrestling, joining WWE in 2018 and winning the Raw Women’s Championship.

Personal Life and Advocacy

Outside of her athletic achievements, Ronda is known for her advocacy work.

She has been an outspoken advocate for body positivity and mental health awareness and has spoken openly about her struggles.

She has also advocated for causes she is passionate about, including animal rights and female empowerment.

Retirement and Legacy

Ronda retired from MMA in 2016 with a record of 12-2 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018. Her legacy as a pioneer in women’s MMA and a dominant force in the sport will live on for years to come.