There is nothing typical about the twenty-eight-year-old, five-foot-seven-inch-tall power that weighs thirty-five pounds and has taken the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) world by storm. Rhonda Jean “Rowdy” Rouser was the first woman to sign with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) in November 2012. Everyone said she has eleven wins and no losses since she became a fighter. Some give credit to their fighting style and hand-bar moves, while others pay attention to a life that is never built around their circumstances. I say it is both inspired and inspired by this woman who never gives up or lets life pull her down.
Born in Riverside County, California and raised with her two older and younger sisters in Jamestown, North Dakota, life was not easy for Rhonda from the beginning. She had a speech problem that did not allow her to speak properly until she was four years old. Her father committed suicide when she was only eight years old. The two were close. Ron took her walk regularly and even bought his first doll for Rhonda who happened to be Buddy Wrestling Hulk Hogan. She always loved watching Professional Wrestling and was a big fan of Roddy Piper’s “Rowdy”. When her MMA career began Rhonda asked and got Piper’s permission to use the moniker “Rowdy” in her name. In 2015 she came out of the audience during Wrestlemania and helped drive The Rock Stephanie McMahon and Triple H out of the ring. Whether it was orchestras or not, it was a great moment for her and her fans.
Ron’s suicide was not expected, but his back probably hurt his back which left him living with chronic pain. Shortly after that horrific event Rhonda Rousey made a remarkable discovery. While digging through several family albums she found a scrapbook that revealed that her mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was a sixth-stage Judo black belt champion. In 1984 AnnMaria became the first American to win a world judo championship. Rhonda’s mother later became a coach when Rhonda eventually decided to train and compete. The training process was painful. Rousey suffered toe and elbow injuries. She was even bitten by a dog while running just a few days before a competition.
Rhonda made the difficult decision to drop out of school at the age of sixteen and move away from her family in order to train in Boston to compete in the 2004 Olympics. During that time she had problems trying to lose weight. and she began to shed the pounds. Unable to do her weight class she returned home depressed and immediately took up another challenge. Her mother, who felt it was a mistake to move to Boston in the first place, would not let her live at home without a job. A very close relationship between the two was badly strained. Things got worse when Rousey competed in the 2008 Olympics and went on to win a Bronze Medal. Her mother insisted on the kind of discipline that Rhonda described as “extinguishing” and she may have felt that Rousey was not fully committed to a proper training routine.
Rousey retired from taking his ten thousand dollar prize from the Olympics and moved to Los Angeles. She took a job as a bartender and started partying as hard as she could. At the age of twenty-one the self-disciplined athlete started smoking cigarettes and abusing alcohol. She also started smoking pot and using a prescription pain reliever to go through every day. Rhonda slept in her car until she found a very small studio apartment with poor plumbing. His toilet would be backed up regularly and would leave the place smearing the way you would expect because of that situation. She also found a post-drug addiction boy whom she dumped shortly after he relaunched into heroin and stole a car. This all continued for about a year.
Rousey eventually found better excavations in the form of a house close to the beach. A friend told her (in less polite language) that she was spoiled because she was wasting her appearance and talent on a destructive lifestyle and bad boy choices. Motivated by criticism and ready for change, Rhonda decided to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts and have her first amateur game in 2010. She used her signed hand bar move to chase Hayden Munoz in direct twenty – three seconds. . At that moment a legend was born. A series of quick wins followed and “Rowdy” won his first professional round in 2011 going against Ediane Gomes with the same hand move in twenty-five seconds.
Rousey soon found a powerful alliance in the form of a man who once said he would never allow women to compete in the UFC forever. Dana White is a man who recognizes talent and that is exactly what happened while watching Rhonda rise in the world of professional MMA. In 2012 White got out of his way and called Rousey to explain his plan to set up and build the UFC Women’s Division around it. Rousey was delighted and quickly accepted his offer. That changed her life in many ways, including the difference between earning just four hundred dollars each time she fought to her current pay check that is a balloon to a million dollars per game. She also started doing some modeling and has appeared in Fast and Furious 7 with Vin Diesel.
“Rowdy” Rhonda Rousey is a hero to me and it should be for everyone who believes they have reached the bottom of the rock with no way up. It proves that no matter where you come from or where you come from there is always a way out if you have the determination and will to overcome your circumstances. If you really want to be inspired read her book, My Fight / Your Fight, which is now available everywhere and watch her latest battle on August 1, 2015 against Bethe Correia. The two are bitter rivals thanks to Bethe’s comments suggesting that Rousey could commit suicide like her father did if she loses. Good luck Rhonda!