This time last year, Ronda Rousey was still regarded by many as an unbeatable champion. At that stage, she’d simply given us very little reason to believe she could be defeated.
Rousey’s professional career, as most do, began on the regional circuit. After going 2-0 in regional shows, she was picked up by Strikeforce, where she scored four straight wins by first-round armbar, and managed to win the organization’s women’s bantamweight title.
As we now know, the combination of her dominance under the Strikeforce banner and charisma on camera would influence UFC president Dana White to go back on previous claims that “women will never fight in the UFC,” and introduce a women’s bantamweight division for Rousey and her peers. This is where Rousey realized her transcendent superstardom.
After winning her debut against Liz Carmouche – you guessed it, by first round armbar – Rousey embarked on a violent stretch that would see her submit an old rival in Miesha Tate, TKO an Olympic wrestler in Sara McMann in just over a minute, maul a game Alexis Davis to a 16-second knockout win, score a 14-second submission over Cat Zingano, and level Bethe Correia with first-round punches. Unfortunately for Rousey and her legions of fans, her next fight would prove to be her undoing. This bout paired her with striking specialist Holly Holm in the main event of a November 2015 card in Melbourne, Australia.
Though Rousey entered this bout with Holm as a towering betting favorite, she was ultimately faced with adversity the likes of which she’d never seen before, absorbing a beating in the first round, only to be unplugged by a Holly Holm head-kick in the second.
And just like that, the Rousey era was over.
Rousey has not been seen in the cage since, having evidently taken the loss quite badly. Luckily for her fans, that will soon change, as she’s now scheduled for a massive comeback bout with reigning bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes. This monumental showdown will headline UFC 207, this December 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In anticipation of Rousey’s long-awaited comeback, take a wander down memory lane to where her amazing pro MMA career began: a March 2011 bout with Ediane Gomes. Take a guess as to how she won this pro debut – we dare you!
Are you excited for Ronda Rousey’s return to action? Sound off, PENN nation!