Ronda Rousey is a former Olympian who competed in Judo at two Olympic Games, earning the bronze medal in Beijing in 2008.
Rousey, who comes from a family of Judo champions, moved into MMA after her career in Judo came to an end.
Now, with a perfect 3-0 record, Rousey feels that she can be the one to help women’s MMA gain a foothold in the media market.
“I feel like what women’s MMA needs is not some nice girl. Everyone’s playing the nice card and they’re not willing to go under any kind of criticism and I really feel that that’s not what we need if we want to get as much exposure as possible,” Rousey told MMAFighting.com during an interview. “We need someone more like a Tito Ortiz-type personality – not that I’m trying to be that much of a (expletive), no offense to Tito. But I want to be one of those people who people either love them or hate them and groups of people actually have heated discussions about it. I want there to be attention on the sport, and if I have to attract some bad attention to get that, then fine I’ll be willing to be that person.”
At Strikeforce Challengers 18, Rousey caused just that kind of talk, as she was awarded a submission victory over Sarah D’Alelio despite D’Alelio not tapping out to Rousey’s trademark armbar submission.
The referee ruled that D’Aleilo gave a verbal submission and awarded Rousey her third straight – and sixth overall including amateur fights – first minute victory by submission.
Rousey felt that, due to the booing of the crowd following the stoppage, maybe she should have just gone all the way through with the armbar.
Rousey also didn’t shy away from talking about how fans would rather way aesthetically pleasing fighters compete than two that are not.
“I mean, it’s more entertaining to watch two (attractive) girls wrestling around than two ugly girls wrestling around,” Rousey said. “I’m sorry I had to like, point out the elephant in the room, but that’s the truth. That’s what people want to see and that’s what’s going to sell tickets and that’s what’s going to make money and that’s what’s going to get all of us a better salary. So yes, I think it’s very important for there to be good-looking girls fighting.”
Rousey also has a gold medal from the 2007 Pan American Games on her resume, along with silver at the World Championships.
In her pro debut, Rousey earned a 25-second submission victory over Ediane Gomes. She followed that up with a 49-second win by tap out over Charmaine Tweet.