The Ultimate Fighter 18 (TUF18) was supposed to be a “history making” event, The1st season to ever have female fighters in “The Ultimate Fighter House”, It was supposed to be more about the fighters, their families and their journeys leading to TUF18; but instead the lovely folks in suits trying to make ratings higher and a bigger buck decided to make it into an extreme editors paradise by turning Ronda Rousey into a villain; FoxSports1& UFC, I love y’all, but not cool! What they failed to highlight was the pure dedication and heart that Ronda & her coaching staff put into #TeamRousey throughout taping, all the extra time Ronda invested into “The Kids” (as she playfully called them) making them all feel like family by having cookouts to ease the homesickness, and even bringing Father’s Day gifts to ALL of the daddy’s in the house; yes even those on a rival team. Fighters on both teams were so impressed by Ronda’s realness and true champion heart that they are now part of Armbarnation out in Cali. In my opinion Ronda was far from any kind of bully on the show, she was given an opportunity to help support her peers in making another piece of history in the UFC and did the best she could under very stressful and obnoxious conditions at times. If you were to ask any one of the members of her team if they were satisfied with their coach, I’m almost positive they all will say heck yes!
I wanna try and get you to see another side to Ronda Rousey, not who the editors on the show portrayed her to be, but the big hearted, competitive, shy badass who has overcome enough to make a grown man buckle at the knees. Knowing a little history on Ronda may change your negative views on her. It was 1987, the year that the world welcomed the future UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Ronda was born on February 1st in California to daddy Ron Rousey & momma AnnMaria De Mars (1st American to win a world Judo Championship by the way). Ronda was born into this world already training in MMA it seemed; her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck just like a Rear Naked Choke, and I’m sure although the Dr. was the one to cut the umbilical cord, it was Lil Ronda holding it off with an Armbar till help arrived. Having the cord around her neck caused a lack of oxygen which in turn caused problems with her speech throughout childhood. Kids repeatedly teased & bullied her because of it, which made Ronda even shyer than what she was. At 6 she took up swimming, something her dad and her did regularly, something which Ronda called “Their Thing”, he would even take Ronda to her swim meets. Ron told his daughter she’d win the Olympics one day, but he would never see her do so, Ron took his own life when Ronda was 8, changing Ronda’s life forever. AnnMaria knew her daughter could benefit from a hobby and knew that she needed something to help channel all those emotions from losing her dad, so AnnMaria started to let Ronda take Judo at the age of 11.
After a few years of training, Ronda had joined the United States Olympics Judo Team and by the age of 17 she had qualified for the 2004 Olympics. Although she didn’t place she was the youngest to compete; that same year Ronda won Gold at the World Junior Judo Championships. You would think that competing in the Olympics and winning numerous awards would be enough for any 20 year old, not Ronda… She put her focus on her dad’s words of winning the Olympics... she did just that; Ronda shook off the pressure of being Judoka AnnMaria’s daughter and won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. At the very young age of 21 Ronda decided it was time for her to move on in life and retired from Judo.
Ronda really didn't see herself joining the corporate world so she entered the world of MMA at 22, and given Ronda’s super competitive nature and true champion’s heart, she spent every minute trying to perfect her craft. After only a few amateur fights Ronda announced her plans to turn pro at only 24, Armbar wins over WMMA greats such as Charmaine Tweet and Julia Budd proved Ronda was a force to be reckoned with and on March 3rd, 2012 Ronda seriously dislocated long-time rival Miesha Tate’s elbow with an Armbar to become Strikeforce’s Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Ronda was quickly becoming the talk around town and it wasn’t long before it was announced that Ronda would become the 1st Female EVER to be signed to the UFC and on February 23, 2012 Ronda Rousey & Liz Carmouche made History by becoming the first females to ever fight in the UFC Octagon. Ronda beat Liz by Armbar in the first round making her the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight Champion and bringing Ronda’s record to 7-0. Now we fast forward to December 28, 2013, today will settle a long rivalry between Ronda and Miesha Tate. Miesha has made it a point to down play Ronda’s talent and abilities leading up to this fight along with Ronda’s character and Ronda has done the opposite by giving Miesha props on her athletic talents, yet Ronda is labeled the mean one… Rubbish! Moral of my story here is as cliché as it gets “Don’t judge a book by its cover, and get to know the fine print”. Enjoy the fight everybody!