One woman changed the UFC forever.  Ronda Rousey – was born Feb. 1, 1987, she is an American professional wrestler, actress, author, mixed martial artist, and judo Olympic bronze medal winner. Rousey stormed from the Olympic Judo bronze to the top of the (UFC) Ultimate Fighting Championship. The best female fighters train as hard as the best male fighters, and they’re as dedicated to the sport as male fighters, but women fighters didn’t have a powerful mainstream voice. They were still looked down on and women fighters were not taken seriously.  Rousey gave the nod that said it was okay to be tough, to fight and be proud of your feminine identity.

How did Ronda Rousey change not only the UFC but the MMA mixed martial arts world for all women fighters and fans? In 2011, Dana White – President of the UFC – was interviewed saying women will never be in the UFC. UFC was the #1 top rated MMA promotion organization yet women fought only for other less known promotions.  Ronda was one of those women. She began her professional mixed martial arts career after becoming the first American woman to earn a bronze medal in the Judo 2008 Olympics. She was then in the King of the Cage and Strikeforce MMA promotions and was the last ever Strikeforce women’s champion.

In November 2012, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that Rousey had become the first female fighter to sign with the UFC after she basically stalked Dana White for a year. The UFC President officially announced at a pre-fight press conference that Rousey was the first UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Rousey defended her title against Liz Carmouche on February 23, 2013, at UFC 153.  I was at that event in Anaheim and had the privilege to witness a star in the making, and that was the event that changes the UFC and MMA forever. Rousey successfully defended her Bantamweight Championship title, winning the fight at 4:49 into the first round by submission due to armbar, which is an arm lock that would break your arm if you did not submit or tap out as they call it. Carmouche dislocated Ronda Rousey’s jaw during the fight. It was only one round but a crazy one at that!

Ronda was the first official UFC female champion in the promotion’s history. She had a two-and-a-half-year undefeated streak and held the record as the longest ever reigning Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

Rousey has been credited for breaking down several hurdles regarding female mixed martial arts, as well as challenging barriers regarding body image and female conformity. She has been regarded as a symbol of female empowerment and has been praised for her involvement in the polarizing female MMA industry, which she became one of the highest pay-per-view draws in the world.  Fox Sports described Ronda as one of the defining athletes of the 21st century. In 2015, she was said to be the third-most googled woman on earth.

Ronda Rousey has gone on to do many things after retiring from the UFC in 2016.  Rousey has enjoyed success as an actress, author and appearing in the films The Expendables 3, Furious 7, Mile 22 and releasing her autobiography My Fight/Your Fight.

Ronda Rousey was and still is my all-time favorite female MMA fighter. It was hard to see her retire after two devastating knockout losses.  Rousey will truly be missed in the UFC Octagon. The story ends on a happy note. On July 6, 2018, Ronda Rousey made history again by being the first woman to be named a UFC Hall of Famer.

Tip for the day: Never say never because the one thing you’re saying never to may change the world.

Shout out to all those women that fight for what they believe and want!

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Coach G - from San Diego, California. At the age of 8, I was labeled dumb and diagnosed with a learning disability. I have literally spent my whole life making my label the inspiration behind finding purpose in my life, exercising my strength in business and fostering my love for connecting with others in my relationships as the key to the realization that I am smart. It's about breaking down labels to bring out your own “Genius Within”.