Ronda Rousey has made a name for herself in the MMA world in recent years, taking down competitor after competitor. Not only is she considered the best female fighter of all time, she is also ranked highly as a fighter among men.
During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Rousey dished about her first-ever “pro” MMA fights, revealing they were on the streets… against men. Rousey said she and her friend would make bets with teenage boys that she could take them in a fight. When they took the bet, Rousey, who called herself a “secret, blonde, Beverly Hills Ninja,” would proceed to submit them to the ground, generally by her most famous move: the armbar.
“I was around fourteen years old. And I thought I was hot [expletive], badass, right? And I felt like this secret, blonde, Beverly Hills Ninja. And I loved Frappuccinos. Me and my friend Jackie, after school, we would walk over to the Promenade, and Jackie was like my Paul Heyman,” she recalled.
“She would be like, ‘I bet my girl right here could beat you up for $10, or $5, or whatever.’ And then some guy would be like, ‘Ehh, whatever. I’ll take that bet.’ It would just start, and whatever the guy was, I would throw him to the ground, either give him a choke or an arm bar,” Rousey said.
“We would get him to say he gave up, then take his money and go buy Frappuccinos,” she laughed. “Those were my first pro fights. Will fight for Frappuccinos.”
The UFC bantamweight champion has been staying busy lately. Not only has she continued to submit her opponents in each of her fights, she is also working on filming her newest movie, the remake of Roadhouse. Earlier this year, Rousey was named as one of the top 10 highest paid female athletes in all sports, and according to her, she is also currently the highest paid UFC fighter, Fox Sports reports.
“I’m the highest paid fighter in the UFC,” Rousey said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It’s pretty cool. It’s fun to say.”
While Ronda’s pay for her bout against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 has not been revealed, she reportedly made $130,000 when she fought Cat Zingano in February. However, that number does not represent what Rousey makes on the backend of the pay-per-view. Rousey made an estimated $6.5 million last year alone.
Rousey’s fight against Correia brought in the biggest pay-per-view numbers for the UFC so far in 2015. Her next fight against Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Australia is expected to break the all-time attendance record in the organization’s history with approximately 70,000 fans expected to arrive at the show at Etihad Stadium.
Despite her tough appearance, Rousey admits that she often breaks down in tears before her fights.
“I’m the biggest crier. Especially fight week when I’m about to fight, I’m the most emotional,” Rousey said. “Like my last fight, I totally cried the day before that. You’re so amped up and it’s every emotion you could possibly have happens that week. It’s like the most stress, the most anxiety, the most pressure possible and then it’s the happiest you could possibly be.”
Everyone expected Rousey’s next fight to be against her nemesis Meisha Tate. However, UFC President Dana White said the match-up with Ronda and Holly was “the right fight to make” at this time. Holm will take on “Rowdy” on November 14 in Melbourne, Australia.
[Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]