Ronda Rousey isn’t just an Olympic judo bronze-medalist and a UFC champion, she’s an all-around badass. Here’s some of her most ground-pounding moments:
On March 3, 2012, new kid on the block Rousey faced off against Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate in a match that skyrocketed her career. The fighters exchanged brutal strikes and grappled each other to exhaustion. But it was Ronda who clinched the victory with a hip throw, ground-and-pound, and a devastating arm bar that snapped the bone of her opponent. At just under four-and-a-half minutes, the fight was the longest in Rousey’s career.
Paving the Way for Women’s MMA
There was a time when UFC founder Dana White laughed at the idea of a UFC women’s division. But after watching Ronda’s performance against Tate, he changed his mind. On December 8, 2012, Ronda received the UFC women’s bantamweight championship belt despite never having set foot inside the octagon. The event signalled not only Rousey’s reign as one of the most iconic female athletes in the world, but created many opportunities for women to enter professional MMA.
First Challenge in the Octagon
Rousey’s toughest match yet took place inside the Octagon against former Marine Liz Carmouche. Early in the fight, a rear-necked choke from Carmouche had Ronda in big trouble. After recovering, Ronda took the fight to the ground once again, hammering relentlessly at Carmouche and eventually getting the armbar as she did against Tate.
Rematch Against an Old Rival
The bitter rivalry between Rousey and Tate came to a head once again on December 28, 2013. This time, Tate took command with her striking prowess in the first round, marking the first time Ronda had to fight a second round. After escaping an armbar in the second round, Tate ate Ronda’s punches early in the third round and ultimately wound up in another armbar, quickly tapping out.
Quickest Championship in UFC History
Fans expected Cat Zingano, who had defeated Rousey’s rival Tate, to put up a serious challenge. However, those expectations fell down the drain in just 14 seconds: Zingano charged at Rousey only to end up in the champion’s signature armbar.
Rousey seized her most recent win in just 34 seconds against Brazilian striker Bethe Correia. Correia, who left Rousey with the command, “Don’t cry” during the weigh-in, got a taste of her own medicine, falling to Rousey’s barrage of powerful punches. Though she took a few hits, Ronda won with a smile on her face and repeated Correia’s words, albeit to deaf ears, as the latter was out cold on the mat.