On July 5, Ronda Rousey will add one more addition to her already-long list of firsts. That night at The Pearl at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, she will become the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. At the age of 31, Rousey will also be the youngest person inducted in the HOF, according to the Los Angeles Times.
UFC made the announcement during UFC 225 in Chicago on Saturday night. In a prepared statement, Ronda responded to the news.
“This is an immense honor, to not only take part in bringing women to the forefront of this sport, but now the UFC Hall of Fame. May I be the first of many,” she said in the statement.
UFC President Dana White issued this statement.
“There would be no women in UFC without Ronda Rousey. Ronda is an absolute pioneer who helped me — and a lot of other people — look at women in combat sports differently. She accomplished everything she set out to do with UFC and became a global icon and role model in the process.”
At the age of 21, Ronda became the first woman to earn a medal for judo when she earned a bronze in the 2008 Olympic Games. At the time, as noted by MMA Fighting, UFC owners Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta insisted that there would never be a woman MMA fighter because the sport was too brutal. White changed his mind when he saw Rousey vs. Tate in March, 2012.
Rousey won the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title that night and Dana White couldn’t deny the electric atmosphere surrounding the event. And he couldn’t deny the appeal of Ronda Rousey. Fights that last only one round, the look, the charisma, everything about her screamed a spirit White wanted in the UFC. The journey since then hasn’t been without its bumps and challenges, but Ronda has racked up an impressive set of accomplishments in the sport once considered off limits to women.
Ronda Rousey was the first woman to headline a UFC pay-per-view event. She was the first woman to sell out a major arena and to win her first championship match. Ronda was the first woman in any combat sport to bring in $1 million on a live gate, first to headline a combat sports event with 50,000 viewers, and the first to headline a $1 million pay-per-view show. The accolades go on, with Rousey becoming the first MMA fighter of either gender to win an ESPY award and many more firsts, bests, or fastests.
Ronda’s success in MMA fighting has changed the way people look at women in combat sports. The sexist attitudes that were once status quo have taken a hit. When she finally decided to leave MMA fighting, Rousey moved to WWE where the response from many was less than enthusiastic. She changed that with an impressive performance in her first match at WrestleMania 34 in April.
Ronda Rousey currently lives with her husband, UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, in Riverside, California.