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MMA

Former WWE champion Ronda Rousey was an Olympics medalist in judo

Ronda Rousey is the only woman to win a championship in both UFC and WWE.

UFC and WWE champion Ronda Rousey
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Ronda Rousey (Source: Tubefilter)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-07-09T14:07:55+05:30

Ronda Rousey must be a familiar name to those who follow Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championships like UFC and WWE closely. The 34-year-old is the only woman to win a championship in both UFC and WWE.

But did you know Ronda Rousey had won an Olympic medal before switching to MMA?

Born in the city of California in the year 1987, Ronda Rousey started off her career in martial arts with the sport of Judo. She took up Japanese martial art at the age of 11 alongside her mother.

Rousey's talent in the sport was visible right from the start, and she rose through the ranks rapidly. In fact, she was the youngest judoka to make her debut at the Olympics when she qualified for the 2004 Athens Games as a 17-year-old.

Ronda Rousey's Olympic debut was nothing special as she was knocked out of the Games in the very first round itself after losing to the eventual silver medallist from Austria, Claudia Heill, in the women's 63kg weight division.

The youngster, though, made a stunning return in the next edition of the Olympics in Beijing and went on to clinch a bronze medal. Rousey had a brilliant start in the Beijing Olympics as she sailed into the quarterfinal with relative ease.

The quarterfinal was a tough ask for Rousey, who was up against former World Champion from the Netherlands, Edith Bosch. As was widely predicted, the American fell to a defeat against Bosch but still managed to clinch a bronze, thanks to the repechage.

In the repechage bout, Rousey had an easy win over German Annett Boehm to become the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo, since the sport was first introduced in the quadrennial event during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.


Soon after bagging the Olympic bronze in Beijing as a 21-year-old, Ronda Rousey retired from Judo and switched her focus to Mixed Martial Arts.

As an MMA artist, Rousey made her debut as an amateur in the year 2010 and went professional the following year in 2011.

She was named the Women's Bantamweight World Champion in Strikeforce – an American MMA organisation, in the year 2012.

Ronda Rousey became the first woman to sign up with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) when she penned down a deal with the league in late 2012 and also went on to become the first female champion in UFC.

She made her WWE debut in the year 2018 during the Royal Rumble and went on to win the RAW Women's Championship in WWE.

Ronda Rousey has not competed in the WWE ever since she lost the RAW Women's Title to Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat event in 2019. Although she has not officially retired, Ronda Rousey's return to the ring looks highly unlikely at the moment.


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