Ronda Rousey: MMA Superstar Goes 1 on 1 with HBO's Real Sports

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 19, 2013

Oct 5, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Ronda Rousey watches the press conference after the fights at the UFC on FX 5 at the Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

MMA fighter Ronda Rousey was profiled on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday leading up to her UFC debut on Saturday against Liz Carmouche.

The interview spanned from the 26-year-old's childhood when her father committed suicide to her rise into mixed martial arts with the help of her mother, Ann Maria Rousey DeMar, a former judo world champion.

Rousey's life started with complications, strangling on her mother's umbilical cord. She wasn't able to speak until she was 6 years old. It was her father who got her through it.

After a sledding accident, Rousey's father dealt with extreme pain and complications. He ended up committing suicide when she was just 8 years old. Rousey started out as a swimmer, but gave up the sport when her father passed because she couldn't bear to swim without her father.

That changed the California native's life forever.

Rousey began taking up judo with the help of her mother from that point on. She said it came natural to her, noting, "I hate losing."

She even learned her trademark armbar from her mother, which has since defeated all six of her opponents as a pro in MMA. She teared up when talking about winning the Strikeforce bantamweight women's championship against rival Miesha Tate in March 2012.

When asked whether she enjoyed hurting other fighters, Rousey simply replied, "It's a fight. We're not baking cakes for each other."

Beyond that, Rousey talked about her appearance in ESPN The Magazine's 2012 Body Issue. She noted that if you want exposure, you need to expose yourself. 

On the other hand, Rousey was adamant she would never pose for Playboy. She said in the HBO interview, "No one should be able to see my 'cash and prizes' for $5."

Overall, Rousey's interview with HBO's Real Sports showed a strong, confident young woman who has already been through a lot. She will headline UFC 157 on Saturday and she's earned every bit of the opportunity.


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