13 Things You Need to Know About the Woman Fighter Dubbed the Most Dominant Athlete Alive

By Danica Lo

She's 28, 5'7", and weighs 137 pounds — and she's just been named "The Most Dominant Athlete Alive," over marquee sports stars including LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Floyd Mayweather.

Meet Ronda Rousey: the undefeated mixed martial artist (and author as well as actress — you can catch her first silver-screen appearance in last year's The Expendables 3 and she'll also make an appearance in Entourage) who, according to Rolling Stone is "the most dominant mixed-martial-arts fights in the sport's history."

"She's a beast, man," UFC president Dana White recently told the magazine. "She's the greatest athlete I've ever worked with. With her, it's like the Tyson era, like, how fast is she gonna destroy somebody, and in what manner? Ronda's one in a million."

Here are 13 essential things to know about Ronda Rousey, champion fighter:

1. Rousey was born in California and grew up in North Dakota.

2. She didn't speak a coherent sentence until she was seven. "In her first six years, nobody knew whether she'd ever speak an intelligent sentence, such were the aftereffects of being born with an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck."

3. After breaking his back in a sledding accident, her father committed suicide when she was eight years old. "He was gone," Rousey told Rolling Stone, "and we slowly got used to it. Athletics were the thing that I had, yeah, and, um, I'm still doing that."

4. In 2008, Rousey became the first woman ever to win an Olympic medal for judo for the United States.


A video posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

5. She calls her diet a mix between a Paleo diet and a warrior diet. She says she eats one meal each day — at night — and snacks on berries and salted nuts (she likes Brazil nuts) throughout the day. 6. Rousey struggled with bulimia as a teenager while trying to maintain her weight class for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

6. Rousey struggled with bulimia as a teenager while trying to maintain her weight class for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

7. One of her signature moves? The Ronda Rousey Armbar. "In my first Strikeforce fight, my opponent started yelling, 'Tap, tap, tap.' So I let go to save her from getting really hurt," Rousey told ESPN. "The referee stopped the fight, and then she said she didn't tap. Since then, I don't care. I'm going 100 percent every time."

8. In the last year, Rousey's two fights have "lasted an average of 15 seconds," Business Insider reports. "The UFC made her its first female fighter ever. In her five UFC fights, only one opponent has made it out of the first round without getting knocked out of submission."

9. She posed nude — wearing only wraps — on the cover of ESPN magazine in 2012, while strategically covering parts of her body. On the culture of women being objectified as ring girls in her sport, she told BJPenn.com.

10. Rousey was the first MMA fighter ever to appear in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated—and just two weeks ago, she appeared on the magazine's cover.


A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

11. She became an official Reebok athlete last December.

12. Her friends call her "Rowdy."

13. She doesn't think woman vs. man fighting is a good idea — at least, not right now. "I don’t think it’s a great idea to have a man hitting a woman on television," Rousey told the Daily Beast. "I'll never say that I'll lose, but you could have a girl getting totally beat up on TV by a guy — which is a bad image to put across. With all the football [domestic violence] stuff that's been happening, not a good idea. It's fun to theorize about and talk about, but it’s something that's much better in theory than fact."

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