Ronda Rousey's life outside the Octagon reflects the way she handles business under the bright lights in the sense that whatever she's doing, the women's bantamweight champion is going to do it on her terms.
The former Olympic judoka-turned mixed martial arts phenom has been an unstoppable force of nature during her ascension to become the most dominant women's MMA fighter on the planet, and her profile on the pop culture landscape has risen because of her efforts inside the cage. The 28-year-old Californian has shown to have a bright future on the Hollywood circuit, and now "Rowdy" can add best-selling author to her personal resume.
Nevertheless, no matter the endeavor, Rousey will continue to do things the way she sees fit, and that mentality has led to other key decisions during her meteoric rise over the past three years.
During a media stop to promote her book My Fight/Your Fight on Opie Radio, (h/t David St. Martin of MMA Fighting) the women's bantamweight phenom discussed how maintaining control of her career choices has played a major part in her success. To further the point, Rousey discussed how an ex-boyfriend taking nude photos of her prompted the armbar specialist to do the ESPN The Magazine Body Issue shoot that went on to garner a tremendous amount of attention throughout the sports world:
It's more of a defensive thing. Writing the book, the whole 'My Fight/Your Fight' thing has really forced me to be introspective and figure out why I do things the way I do. It was because of that one ex, we called him 'Snappers McCreepy,' because we caught him taking naked pictures of me. The first thing I did was take naked pictures for ESPN. If it's going to get out there, then I want it to get out there on my terms. The same thing with playing the heel. If people are going to dislike me it's because I sought for it to be that way.
As it would turn out, the situation surrounding the pictures taken by her ex-boyfriend would come to light in the days leading up to her first title opportunity against Miesha Tate under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner back in 2012. The feud between Rousey and "Cupcake" was making headlines all across the MMA community, and the hard-charging title challenger was doing all she could to promote the fight.
It was during an attempt to post on her social media accounts when Rousey discovered the pictures on her boyfriend's computer. And while Rousey explained she took prompt action to delete the photos she found that day, she would go on to pose for ESPN The Magazine several months later:
It was right before my first title fight, actually. It was like two weeks before and I was pumping out a lot of social media to try and get people to pay attention. He went to work and I stayed behind and was using his computer. I was downloading a picture off Facebook so I could put it on to Twitter. You know how it shows the preview of recent downloads?
I was downloading something and then I just saw a bunch of ass! 'What is that?' It looked like it was amateurly taken. I had to look so I looked at it and it was all me.
You know when you're just comfortable naked around somebody? ... Like you're just naked on the bed playing DragonVale on your phone? I brush my teeth naked. That was all, every single thing, all naked. I just thought he was on his phone texting people. He asked to take pictures of me before and I was like, 'No, of course not.' He knew I didn't [approve]. That's why his name was Snappers McCreepy and if you read the book you can see how I reacted to said photos.
While Rousey's brash presentation was initially one of the key elements to her grabbing the attention of fans and media alike in the early goings of her career, that aspect has been long overshadowed by her dominance inside the cage. The Olympic bronze medalist has defended her title on five consecutive occasions inside the Octagon, with her two most recent defenses coming in nearly flawless fashion.
The former Strikeforce champion-turned UFC titleholder needed a combined 32 seconds to put away Alexis Davis and Cat Zingano, respectively, in performances that would serve to bolster her bulletproof mystique and further widen the gap between the best and the rest of the women's bantamweight division. Those victories would also go a long way toward securing her place among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and solidify Rousey as the biggest star on the current UFC roster.
She is set to put her title on the line once again in the coming months, as she is slated to face Bethe Correia at UFC 190 on Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fiery Brazilian upstart grabbed the champion's attention by defeating two of her friends and teammates on previous occasions, and Rousey was adamant that Correia be granted the next shot at her women's bantamweight title. Furthermore, Rousey insisted the bout take place in her opponent's native country to make sure the message she intends to send Correia's way would have the maximum impact.
Nevertheless, before Rousey will settle into her full training camp for her next title defense, she will finish promoting her book, in addition to doing promotional work for her role in the soon-to-be-released Entourage movie. While the weight of those commitments would be enough to rattle some, staying busy and moving full steam ahead is the way Rousey prefers to work. And with her continued success on all fronts, it is unlikely she will be changing up her approach anytime soon.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.