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RONDA ROUSEY - LIFE GETS TOUGH? THE DETERMINED GET TOUGHER

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RONDA ROUSEY - LIFE GETS TOUGH? THE DETERMINED GET TOUGHER

BY JAKE WELLINGTON

With titles like “Winner”, “Champion”, and “Beautiful” —it would seem a description of nothing but a happy life. But for celebrity fighter champion, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey—life wasn’t always full of happy-sparkly memories. And if you’re thinking: ‘Tough times make for even tougher achievers’—you’re right. Ronda Jean Rousey didn’t have an easy life, and it’s possible that fact fueled her burning desire to not only kick the ass out of her opponents, but to consistently achieve victory.

CHILDHOOD HURDLES

Ronda Jean Rousey was born fighting. With her neck wrapped with her umbilical cord, the determined little warrior fought for her life, nearly dying from lack of oxygen, hindering her ability to speak until she was 6.

Shortly after, Rousey’s dad had an accident while sledding with his daughters. His body wouldn’t heal because of a blood disorder he suffered from. After being told a grim diagnosis that he would slowly deteriorate from paraplegic to quadriplegic in only a short few years that he had left to live, her father committed suicide to alleviate the family from enduring what would be a painstaking decline to death. Rousey was just 8 years old.

School was difficult for Rousey, who was homeschooled for sometime during elementary and high school, until her mom offered an outlet to the teen’s frustrations: judo.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… Rousey’s mother, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, is also a champ. A seventh-degree black belt in judo, her mom is the first American to ever win a world championship in judo, which she won in 1984.

De Mars worked with Ronda, teaching her daughter the fundamentals of the sport, and the famously crushing technique, the dreaded “armbar” which Ronda became famous for, pinning down her opponents to the mat with ease.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Rousey’s strong drive and determination might come from her mother. “My mom is like an X-Men. She’s unbelievable. She got a perfect score on the SATs at 16, graduated college at 19. She won the world championships in Judo as a single mother, working as an engineer, and getting her PhD . . . all at the same time. And then after my dad died, she took a business from scratch and turned it into a multi-million-dollar company. She’s absolutely amazing. Every single day I just try to be a little more like her, because if I was doing that, I know I’m improving as a person.”

And if you met Ronda’s mom, you’d know the description is pretty much on-the-spot. Dr. AnnMaria De Mars is an absolute powerhouse of drive and achievement. Named one of Forbes’ 40 Women to Watch Over 40: Women who are reinventing, disrupting and making an impact, De Mars is the CEO and founder of 7 Generation Games, developed as a tool for bringing underperforming students up to grade level in mathematics. She is one of two full-time developers creating software that spans the scope of everything from big data analytical tools to a virtual library for Native American communities to educational video games. And 7 Generation Games is but her fourth in a proven track record in founding successful businesses, previously the president of R&R Consulting, Vice President of Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. and is also currently CEO of The Julia Group. Both the Julia Group and Spirit Lake Consulting went on to generate over $1 million in contracts. She has authored grants that have received tens of millions of dollars in funding, including more than $30 million for Native American programs.

THE OLYMPIAN

Starting at the age of 15, Rousey was named to the U.S. Olympic judo team. By 16 she was the youngest American to earn the national No. 1 ranking in the women’s half-middleweight division. And at 17, she was the youngest judo player to compete at the 2004 Olympic games. She didn’t earn an Olympic medal that year, but she garnered a gold for the World Junior and Pan American Judo Championships, and in 2007 once again won a gold at 2007’s Pan American Games, despite a torn knee meniscus. Rousey represented the U.S. once again at the 2008 Olympic Games. She won a bronze as a fourth-degree black belt in judo and became the first American woman to win a medal since the Olympics added the sport, and then retired from the sport at age 21.

PRO FIGHTING

Always ready, always undefeated. For a period of time, Rousey had no outlet—working as a bartender and even living out of her car for a period of time in L.A. By August of 2010 she got back in the fight, joining the Glendale Fighting Club and winning her amateur debut mixed martial arts fight in only 23 seconds with the armbar move. Every bout that followed had the same victorious result via armbar submission after 57 seconds, 24 seconds, and after turning pro another four straight wins in less than a minute each.

Rousey explains the intense training from her mom on how to fight:

“Her attack line was, ‘Always be ready!’ Sometimes she would wake me up in the morning and do what her coach used to do to her back in the day, which was wake her up in the morning and be like, ‘You have to do an armbar right now! Always be ready!’” “ She would jump on me and I’d have to do an armbar straight out of a sleep.” Lucky for Rousey, her mom’s definitive training paid off full-tilt, because after a couple more undefeated fights (one of which was a win against Miesha Tate), in November of 2012 UFC President, Dana White, could no longer ignore the talented force of Rousey, (even though he had said women would never be allowed to fight in the UFC), she became the first female fighter to sign a contract with the UFC. She won her first UFC fight against Liz Carmouche in the first round, once again with her signature armbar (“Thanks, Mom!”) landing her the title of the first UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

NICKNAMES

Rowdy

(given to her by retired pro-wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper)

The Rowdy One

Rowdy Ronda

The Arm Collector

(winning all her fights by armbar)

MODELING CAREER

It’s no surprise the beautiful badass has graced the covers of many different magazines, most notably ESPN’s The Body Issue 2012, in which Rousey is fully nude, baring her spectacularly fit body, covering her privates with her gloves. Another standout is this February 2016’s Sports Illustrated, in which the popular magazine released its first-ever triple swimsuit issue, featuring Ronda, Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson each making their own individual cover.

AUTHOR

Rousey joined her sister, Maria Burns Ortiz, to co-author the 2015 autobiography, “My Fight/Your Fight”, which immediately became a New York Times Bestseller. The book details the accounts of her life—both inside and outside the Octagon, all with the underlying signature charm, barbed wit, and undeniable power of the UFC champion.

AVID GAMER

Enjoying the competition in other realms is a big charge for Rousey, who favors games like “Dragon Ball Z”, “World of Warcraft”, “Mario Kart”, and “Just Dance”, even acting as a storyline consultant for her mom’s successful company, 7 Generation Games.

“I used to make up superheroes and stuff in my head. I loved “Dragon Ball Z”. That was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid because all the superheroes had to work and train really hard to be even more super and beat the next guy. And I invented in my head, a girl saying that I would fight and be with them and stuff. When I was little I had to make up and imagine up these girl role models that weren’t there.”

Rousey is the voiceover talent used on 2014’s EA Sports UFC videogame, and UFC 2, starring alongside Conor McGregor “The Notorious” Irish madman.

FILM CAREER

The blond scrapper hit Hollywood with a bang in her motion picture debut, The Expendables 3 (2014), in which she was surrounded by a cast full of talent and testosterone with co-stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Kellen Lutz, Terry Crews, fellow fighter Randy Couture and more. And bang she did! She actually broke director Patrick Hughes’ rib, when she slammed one of her punches on set before her very first scene. And when she was simply demonstrating a judo throw, the fighter accidentally broke a few of blogger/reporter Aaron Tru’s ribs when she threw him onto a floor that had no padding.

“My dad taught me how to shoot when I was six years old. My mom taught me how to fight. And I just had to rely on Sly [Sylvester Stallone] and all those other icons to kind of give me advice and mentor me through the process.”

Rousey has continued her path in the film industry, with 2015’s action-thriller, Furious 7, and the hit comedy show made into the 2015 film, Entourage. She’s also in a couple more films still in the production, one called The Athena Project, another is the remake of the 1989 film, Roadhouse, and Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to her book, “My Fight/Your Fight”, with plans to have Rousey take on what could be the most challenging or simply the easiest role in her blossoming career in the film.

IT’S GETTING “ROWDY” IN VEGAS!

After a pounding, successful career in the martial art of judo, and reigning queen as UFC’s undefeated Bantamweight Champion, it was a sober night in November of 2015, when Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey hit the cage floor, knocked out in the second round, to Holly Holm at UFC 193.

The title has made its rounds since that shocking night, with Miesha Tate taking the belt from Holm only a few months later by fifth-round submission at UFC 196 in March 2016. And just a quick jog later at UFC 200 in July, Tate relinquished the belt to Nunes (13-4).

But after a year of successfully evading the public eye (besides a few obligatory Hollywood appearances), Rousey is back! The 29-year-old California-born “looker” with the signature “armbar” will enter the cage once again to challenge Nunes, to likely offering an “arm,” and hammer the new champ into submission of the title this month, just before the New Year, on December 30th at UFC 207.

UFC 207 – NUNES vs. ROUSEY

As we go to print, no other fights have been announced to the UFC 207, which will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.

Nosebleed seats started at $118, and VIP’s go up to $20-Grand for what I like to call the “splash” zone (so close to the action you might get blood-spattered).

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