Say hello to the toughest woman on the planet. Ronda Rousey is exactly the role model this world needs. She’s a 28 year old undefeated champion in MMA and the woman who made Dana White a believer that women belonged in the UFC. You may have heard of her. She beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. out for Fighter of the Year at the ESPY’s in July and taunted him about not knowing who she is, even challenging him to a fight(he won’t take it if he appreciates his health). Rousey is globally fearless and that’s why we should love her.
Sure, she gets into an octagon and fights other women in a brutal MMA sport; wrestling, kicking and punching towards more wins in the UFC. Don’t discount the woman because she’s a fighter though. For a world that gets swept up in the all American game of football every fall/winter that’s damaging men’s futures one tackle at a time, a woman fighting for her cash isn’t bad at all. If folks can pay millions to see a wife beating Mayweather Jr. dance around a ring like Houdini, Rousey’s wicked style of destruction should be digested smoothly.
When I think of Rousey, I think about He For She, the campaign Emma Watson started to drive the dagger home for men and women sharing equal rights and opportunity. Rousey is a role model not just for other fighters that are coming through the ranks, but she is also a beacon of light for every single woman on this planet. The ones that work an extra hour to get prepared and make themselves look pretty for this world that still wishes to beat them down on a daily basis. Rousey is the reminder that if you are very good at a job, you should get paid no matter what sex you are. She’s a renegade and someone who created her own success. That’s hot.
There are few more pressured packed jobs than that of a fighter. Think about it. You have to literally punch and grapple your way to victory and every ring meeting is a chance to damage your brain or lose a piece of your bone structure. One bad decision could be the end of your career or at least the painful beginning of the demise. The general perception is that fighters aren’t needed and I beg the differ. I don’t want think of a world without people who create their way of living by using their own two hands. As Jim Lampley once said, people play “fighting” for a living. You stand, you fight, and that’s it.
Rousey hasn’t been handed a thing in her life. She was a daddy’s girl as a young girl, learning how to swim to the point of where she got pretty good at it. The direction her life could have went if her dad didn’t tragically take his life after a debilitating injury zapped the life from him is the opposite direction of a fighter. She could have been diving off a board at the Olympics. Instead, her mother taught her how to fight.
Rousey’s mother knew a thing or two about it herself. AnnMaria De Mars was the first American woman to win the World Judo Championship in 1984 and is a master in the martial art. So when Ronda was hanging around the lowest of lows, her mother took her to the gym and taught her the most authentic and simplest technique. The ability to knock someone else out when needed. Trust me, it was a better option than the salon or Starbucks.
After competing in the Olympics herself and taking home a medal, Rousey had to scrap around for a while. There isn’t a lot of money to go around the fight game until you find the right match or bust your butt training. Ronda lived in her car while she trained. Working far out of the spotlight while she collected the right training. Training that would eventually revolve around one single move. The arm bar. The act of strangling one’s arm on top of your knee while on the ground, where the arm is then bent the complete opposite direction that it wants to go. Many opponents have found the need to tap out before Rousey separates the arm into two pieces. It’s brutal but it doesn’t come without warning.
Rousey has won all 11 of her fights and most of them end in an instant. Rousey is the Mike Tyson of MMA. The sport wasn’t quite ready for her method of mayhem and they still have a hard time digesting a woman winning a fight in the same amount of time it takes you to make a video on Instragram.
It doesn’t hurt that she is gorgeous, curvy and built like a Mack Truck. That may turn certain people off, but for others it’s a welcome sight. A woman brandishing her skills and youthful powerful beauty in a ring instead of a man. The people who are intimidated by Rousey badly want to be as confident as her. They whisper to themselves after they denounce her in front of their friends, “man I wish I could be so fearless.” She’s graced movie screens, fighting alongside Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables and against Vin Diesel’s car heisting crew in Furious 7 this past spring. Soon, she will shoot a film with Mark Wahlberg. Unlike some crossover star athletes, Rousey doesn’t lose focus. It helps that she’s struck a good balance between a Tommy gun temper and supreme confidence.
Rousey also isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. She is a hot take quote machine, and never fails to shoot a journalist or opposing fighter straight. When an opponent tried to make a knock at her father, Rousey simply stated she has to make that woman suffer. Rousey can zing you with a jab or a one liner, and that only broadens her legend. People don’t just want a undefeated record with their fighters these days. They want a personality and Rousey’s is authentic, free spirited and quite direct.
A week ago, Rousey destroyed her latest victim, Bethe Correia, a Brazilian fighter in 34 seconds. The weakest fighters always throw the biggest punches outside the ring before shrinking inside the ring. When Rousey’s fist hit Correia’s nose, the only words uttered were “please stop”. I expected Correia to tap out, like I expect Jason Statham to win in the end of all his action films.
If Watson wanted to blaze a trail with her He For She campaign, she should let Rousey drive the chariot of fire. The woman is everywhere and here all at once, and she isn’t going anywhere.
Prepare to see a lot of Ronda Rousey. Just don’t make her mad. She is a beacon of light for a world of women fighting for equality every single day. I don’t have a hard time liking that. Do you?