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18 Years Ago, Ronda Rousey Beat Her Mother’s 39-Year-Old Teammate, Who Was Twice Her Size

Published 12/30/2022, 4:57 PM EST

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Ronda Rousey dreamed of winning an Olympic medal since she was a 6-year-old child. While being on the swim team, she dreamed of winning the 50 meters backstroke event. The dream was probably a gift from her father, who told her that she will shine on the world level. The image stuck in Rousey‘s head. When she moved from swimming to Judo, she carried her dream along and worked for it relentlessly. As a teenager, she dominated the Junior levels and was a prospect at the senior level despite being unranked. An ACL injury, however, tried to hold her in her tracks.

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In her Memoir, My Fight/Your Fight, Ronda Rousey recounts how older Olympic probable were not so excited to see a teenager making it through the ranks and reaching the top spot. She admitted that a lot of fighters went cold towards her after she became a strong contender to be included in the Olympic team.


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Ronda Rousey’s rise was not thrilling for everyone

As soon as Rousey recovered from her ACL injury, she catapulted herself to the senior level. Her main opponent at this point was a fighter more than twice her age and size, who once was her mother’s teammate.

The teenager defeated her in the year’s senior national finals and the older fighter didn’t like her reign being challenged.


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In her memoir, Rousey remembers the incidents saying, “Not everyone was thrilled with my rapid rise. At thirty-nine, Grace was more than twice my age and had actually been a teammate of my mom’s six years before I was born. Grace wasn’t happy to lose her top ranking to a teenager, but she was always nice to me. The same couldn’t be said for some of my new US teammates.”

Ronda Rousey cared more about Donuts than her opponents


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While Jividen Grace was nice to Rousey, despite losing to her, some other teammates were not. During the 2004 Olympic trials, Ronda rushed through her initial rounds. She was engaged with her GameBoy when she noticed two female athletes passing her twice and talking something about her. Her mother AnnMarie and her friend Lanny noticed this, too.

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While Lanny was worried about the effect the girls may have on young Rousey, AnnMarie was assured that no opponents could Psyche her little fireball for all he cared about was not sniggering opponents, but Donuts.


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Reassuring Lanny, Rousey’s mother said, ‘The Arm Collector will not be bothered and must be thinking if she will get Donuts if she wins. Replying to this, Rousey nonchalantly said, “Big Jim will never let me have a donut“. She went on to beat her mother’s former teammate quite easily hours later.

Watch This Story: From Impressive victory to awful trend, Fire Ronda Rousey trends on Twitter after SmachDown Botch



Akshay Pallav

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Akshay Pallav is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his undergraduation from National Institute of Fashion Technology in Apparel Production, he has been a sports enthusiast all his life and has several medals at the University level across multiple sports including basketball, badminton, track and field. He aspires to interview Conor McGregor and Cristiano Ronaldo someday.

Edited By: Vineet Nandwana