Ronda Rousey might be one of the best, if not the best, female fighter in MMA today, but until fairly recently, she was a very promising competing judoka. So what caused Rousey to leave her Olympic aspirations behind to pursue a career in the cage?
Apparently, it all started when she watched a fight between Gina Carano and Julie Kedzie.
“My judo team got into watching MMA and we would have little ‘fight nights’ where we would all get together and watch the fights that were on,” Rousey said in a recent interview on the Fox Files.
“I remember one of them, I saw Gina Carano and Julie Kedzie fight, and I just sat there and I thought, ‘I could beat both those girls. I could be doing that right now.’ But I didn’t want to say it because I was in the middle of an Olympic run and everyone would turn to me and call me an idiot,” she added.
Rousey competed twice at the Olympics, once in 2004 where she failed to medal, and again in 2008 when she won bronze, becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic judo medal.
Once that run was over, she turned to MMA, making her professional debut on March 27, 2011. Since then, she’s racked up seven straight wins, all by first round armbars.
She’ll face Miesha Tate next, in a rematch set for UFC 168 on December 28.