Ronda Rousey has already made an impact in the WWE, but before she ever stepped foot into a professional wrestling ring, she made an impact as the greatest female MMA fighter in history in the UFC.
On Thursday, Ronda Rousey became the first female ever inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. According to ESPN, Rousey said this was all because of her fans who took the time to watch her fight.
“Because of you, I am the first woman standing up here accepting this incredible honor,” Rousey said. “May I be the first of many.”
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I had so many more to thank than I could have used the time I had the stage for. Everyone I know personally, I can thank in person … last night was for YOU. Thank YOU for watching and letting the adventures of this Venetian judoka with a bad reputation change the world🙏🏼❤️
Before she ever entered the UFC, Rousey was already a successful MMA fighter. At the age of 17, she qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as the youngest entrant that year. While she lost, she did go on to win the gold medal at the World Judo Championships that same year.
In 2008, Ronda Rousey returned to the Olympics and won a Bronze medal, the first female American to win a medal in judo since it became an Olympic sport. She retired at the age of 21 and began to train for a professional MMA career.
Rousey started fighting for King of the Cage before moving to Strikeforce and beating Miesha Tate for their Bantamweight Championship in 2012. After one defense, she signed with the UFC when they created a Bantamweight title just for her.
Ronda Rousey then went on to win her first six title defenses in the UFC, including beating Miesha Tate again. Her undefeated streak (12-0) came to an end when she lost her title to Holly Holm in 2015. In 2016, Rousey attempted a comeback but lost to Amanda Nunes and her UFC career came to an end.
History is made!
Ronda Rousey becomes the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/Ry8KgA3omH
— ESPN (@espn) July 6, 2018
Over her career, Ronda appeared in eight UFC pay-per-view fights, with three of them breaking one million buys.
“In my defense, when I famously said women would never fight in the UFC, I had never met Ronda Rousey,” UFC president Dana White said. “I had never met the woman who would change everything. She started by changing my mind and she ended up changing the world.”