Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was once heralded as the greatest fighter, male or female ever to compete in combat sports. Now she’s a Movie and WWE superstar. Today she joined ESPN’s First Take with Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith where she made things very awkward when asked about her MMA losses.
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Ronda Jean Rousey (/ˈraʊzi/; born February 1, 1987) is an American professional wrestler, actress, and former mixed martial artist and judoka. She is currently signed to WWE, performing on the Raw brand. Rousey was the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo (bronze), which she won at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She is the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, as well as the last Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She won 12 consecutive MMA fights, six in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), before suffering her first loss, to Holly Holm in November 2015. She won 11 of those fights in the first round, nine of them by armbar submission. Rousey trains under Gokor Chivichyan of the Hayastan MMA Academy, and Edmond Tarverdyan of the Glendale Fighting Club.
In May 2015, two magazines ranked Rousey as the most “dominant” active athlete. In September 2015, voters in an online ESPN poll selected Rousey as the Best Female Athlete Ever. Later that month, she claimed to be the UFC’s highest paid fighter, male or female. In 2015, she was the third most searched person on Google. As of January 2017, Rousey is ranked the #4 female bantamweight fighter in the world according to the UFC, and #9 by Sherdog. Rousey’s first feature film role was the 2014 film The Expendables 3. In 2015, she had roles in the films Furious 7 and Entourage.
Ronda Jean Rousey was born in Riverside, California on February 1, 1987, the youngest of three daughters of AnnMaria De Mars (née Waddell) and Ron Rousey, for whom she was named. Her mother, a decorated judoka, was the first American to win a World Judo Championship (in 1984). Rousey is of English, Polish, Trinidadian, and Venezuelan ancestry. Her Venezuelan maternal grandfather was partly of Afro-Venezuelan descent and her Trinidadian maternal great-grandfather, Alfred E Waddell, was a doctor who emigrated to Canada and became one of the first black physicians in North America. Her stepfather is an aerospace engineer. Her biological father, after breaking his back sledding with his daughters and learning that he would be a paraplegic, committed suicide in 1995 when Rousey was eight. AnnMaria pursued a Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of California, Riverside as her daughters grew up.
For the first six years of her life, Rousey struggled with speech and could not form an intelligible sentence due to apraxia, a neurological childhood speech sound disorder. This speech disorder was attributed to being born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. When Rousey was three years old, her mother and father moved from Riverside, California, to Jamestown, North Dakota, to obtain intensive speech therapy with specialists at Minot State University. Rousey dropped out of high school and later earned her GED. She was raised between Jamestown and Southern California, retiring from her judo career at 21 and starting her MMA career at 22 when she realized that she did not want to spend her life in a conventional field of work.