Thursday (July 7th) in Las Vegas, at the Pearl Theater, Ronda Rousey added another accomplishment to her storied MMA career. Rousey became the first female inductee ever to be in inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in the company’s history.
Rousey is no stranger when it comes to shattering glass ceilings in her sport. Before Rousey became UFC’s first women’s champion, she won her first 12 professional mixed martial arts matches dominantly. Six of those matches by submission in the UFC, 11 out of 12 of them ending impressively by not getting out the first round. Rousey also owns four out the five records for the fastest finishes in UFC’s women’s bantamweight history.
When addressing the crowd last night during her acceptance speech, Rousey said:
“I am not the first person who had the ability to do this, but I am here because I am the first person you took the time to watch. That you put the energy into supporting. Because of you, I am the first woman standing up here accepting this incredible honor. May I be the first of many.”
“Every time I walked into that cage, I was hoping to make you proud,” Rousey told the crowd. “We have had this incredible journey, and it was really an honor to be able to live it with you.”
UFC President, Dana White, is on record saying women would never fight in his company, Ronda made him eat him eat his words. Rousey was the first female fighter signed by the UFC and beat Liz Carmouche in the first UFC women’s match during UFC 157. He spoke on having to change his mind due to Rousey when presenting Rousey:
“In my almost 18 years as UFC president, I’ve learned many valuable lessons. And the one that comes to mind tonight is never saying never, especially when you’re talking to UFC. In my defense, when I famously said women would never fight in the UFC, I had never met Ronda Rousey. I had never met the woman who would change everything. She started by changing my mind, and she ended up changing the world.”
In record time Rousey became one of the UFC’s biggest draws and headlined her last four fights. Her previous two matches drew an astonishing 1.1 million pay-per-view buys and the one before brought in 900,000. Those numbers put her in the same conversations as Brock Lesnar and Conor McGregor in terms of popularity in the UFC. At one time she was deemed unbeatable till she suffered two devasting knockout defeats at the hands of Holly Holmes and the other by Amanda Nunes. Rousey hasn’t been in the UFC octagon since but has taken her talents to WWE signing a contract back in January.
Rousey not only has seen success in the ring but in Hollywood as well, landing supporting roles in blockbusters films Entourage, Expendables 3 and Furious 7. She may not be fighting professionally anymore, well at least for real but Rousey’s star still continues to shine as bright as ever.