Ronda Rousey, the Olympic bronze medalist judoka and UFC champion, said she preferred the title of world’s best pound-for-pound fighter over potentially being called sexiest woman alive in an HBO “Real Sports” profile this week.
Rousey rose to stardom well after she became the first U.S. Olympic women’s judo medalist at Beijing 2008 in her second Games. Her Olympic experiences were mentioned in the “Real Sports” profile, but Rousey’s fame came after she quit judo and took up mixed martial arts in 2010 (more on Rousey’s controversial leave from judo here).
Rousey is 11-0 in pro MMA fights, her most recent bout ending in 14 seconds on Feb. 28. Rousey was dubbed “the world’s most dominant athlete” on the cover of last week’s Sports Illustrated, a testament to not only her unblemished record but also her intimidating attitude, one she wears on her face before fights in the octagon.
“We’re not baking cakes,” she told “Real Sports.”
In the profile, Rousey reflected on her father’s suicide when she was 8 and when she lived in her car after taking Olympic bronze, before she became UFC’s most recognizable fighter, a movie star and magazine model.
Perhaps the most poignant part, though, came at a recent signing for her recently released book. A girl told Rousey that the fighter’s story of overcoming an eating disorder inspired her to beat bulimia. Rousey cried.
“That was one of those battles I felt like I was going through alone,” Rousey said on “Real Sports.” “If one girl … that threw up her dinner last night because she felt guilty for being full, reads that [book] and stops, the whole thing is worth it.”