After three pretty damn good years, 2016 was a quiet one for Ronda Rousey. After suffering her first and only UFC defeat in November 2015, she's been keeping a low profile. But she's back in the spotlight tonight as she faces off against Amanda Nunes in UFC 207's main event. Will she return to the top of her sport? Only time will tell, so let's review the rise of a grappler who overcame a tough childhood to redefine what a champion looks like...
Rousey’s mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was the first American (male or female) to win the World Judo Championships.
Rousey was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. She’s stated she spoke “gibberish” until roughly age 6.
Rousey’s first passion was swimming, which she gave up after her father’s suicide when she was eight.
After just six years of judo, Rousey reached the 2004 Olympics at age 17.
She also reached the 2008 Olympics, where she won a bronze medal.
Rousey considered seeking gold at the 2012 Olympics before making the switch to mixed martial arts.
In 2010, Rousey made her mixed martial arts debut, a submission win in just 23 seconds.
In 2011, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said women would “never” fight in the UFC. By 2013 he welcomed them, thanks mainly to Rousey.
Miesha Tate is one of only two people to get out of the 1st round with Rousey. (She still finished her career 0-2 versus her, though.)
Rousey had a particularly bitter rivalry with Tate, refusing to shake her hand after the second win.
The only other person to go beyond a round with Rousey is, of course, Holly Holm, who knocked her out with a high kick in the second round of UFC 193 in November of 2015. That KO ended a three-year undefeated streak.
Prior to her loss to Holm, Rousey had registered some impressive knockouts of her own, including ones that took 66, 34 and 16 seconds.
Mike Tyson’s legendary Michael Spinks KO took 91 seconds. Ten of Rousey’s 12 pro wins required less time.
Rousey has five pro victories in under 35 seconds, including a KO of Bethe Correia in August 2015.
Rousey got the late wrestling legend Roddy Piper’s permission before adopting “Rowdy” as her nickname.
On the big screen, Rousey made quite a splash in Furious 7, staging a showstopping battle with Michelle Rodriguez. She is reportedly set to star in a remake of the Patrick Swayze classic Roadhouse.
Rousey credits an ex-boyfriend she dubbed “Snappers McCreepy” taking nude shots without her permission as inspiration for stripping down for ESPN’s 2012 Body Issue.
Rousey later did SI’s 2015 Swimsuit Issue. She refused to diet for it so the world would see her at her “walking weight.”
The UFC reluctantly agreed to Rousey's media blackout leading up to her fight against Nunes. Meanwhile she shared this shot on Instagram.
At the pre-fight weigh-in, Rousey revealed ripped abs and some serious gains—encouraging signs for her fans.