Meet the Female Fighter Who's Single-Handedly Shaking Up the UFC
In advance of the machismo show that is Expendables 3, we spent some time learning about the movie's only fighting female star, Ronda Rousey. Among fifteen smirking, aviator-wearing, gun-slinging men, she stands out as the only woman in the crew. According to the Expendables 3 website, her character Luna's weapons of choice are her bare fists, forearms, shins, thighs, feet, etc. She throws punches alongside classic action stars including Antonio Banderas, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger. She did all her own stunts, except for two falls. The Expendables is her first role in a movie, though she's also scheduled to appear in Fast and Furious 7.
But the best part is that Rousey breaks up boy's clubs off screen, too. In real-life, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey is a champion MMA fighter, the first and current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. It was her passion for the sport that convinced UFC president Dana White to add women's headline events to the UFC program. Rousey fought Liz Carmusche in the first ever women's MMA fight of the UFC. Previously, she was the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo in Beijing 2008. She's going to be a legend. Watch her story on ESPNW or click through the highlights above.
"I never aspired to be second. I was taught as a kid that you can do whatever you want in this world, so why not be the best in the world at it? Even when I was bartending, I wanted to be the world's best, most efficient and charming bartender. That's how I do things.” -Ronda Rousey Read the rest of her interview with ESPN.
“I knew what a fighter is, I train world champions. I said, ‘Okay, this girl can fight.’” -Her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan ESPN's Nine for IX
Every day on the way to practice, Rousey’s mom told her she could win an Olympic gold medal. “I think having that belief in herself has helped her her whole life," her mother says. ESPN's Nine for IX
“All the girls were playing the Miss America role…I somehow needed to make my fights personal to the people who were watching,” Rousey said. She started talking trash so her fights would get attention. ESPN's Nine for IX
“I’m notorious for saying women would never fight in the UFC. Until the day I met Ronda Rousey. Her personality, her fighting style, her tenacity.” -Dana White ESPN's Nine for IX
Rousey’s mother, AnnMaria De Mars, says,“I hope we see more women refusing to wait their turn.” ESPN's Nine for IX
"I didn't grow up wanting to be an action star. I just didn't think it was in the cards. Now that it's a possibility, I'm like, 'Screw it…if The Rock can become the world's highest-grossing actor, I can have that same goal." Rousey told ESPN.
"I don’t want little girls to have the same ambitions as me, but I want them to know it’s okay to be ambitious.” -Ronda Rousey ESPN's Nine for IX