Ronda Rousey: Father’s suicide motivated me to fight

By Darragh Bermingham

UFC champion Ronda Rousey has revealed how the death of her father led her to fight, first in judo, then UFC.

The undefeated fighter said she needed to find an outlet for her grief and anger after her father died by suicide when she was eight years old.

Ronda Rousey: Father’s suicide motivated me to fight

Rousey will face Holly Holm in Melbourne on November 15 as the main attraction of UFC 193 since the cancellation of the Welterweight title bout between Condit and Lawler.

Writing for Australian Newspaper, the Herald Sun, Rousey also spoke about the impact her mother, a judo champion, had on her career.

"For some reason I was born to a mother who was a judo world champion," she said.

"For some reason I lost my father to suicide at eight years old.

"I had so much bottled up grief and anger and self-loathing and for some reason I found an outlet that saved me - fighting."

While many may see UFC as barbaric, Rousey claims she sees it instead as a battle of wits.

"When in the UFC Octagon I’m not thinking about hurting the person standing in front of me," she said. "I’m problem solving.

"What some call a blood sport, I call a high-stakes game of wits.

She also claimed the sport is not merely a brawl but something artistic.

"It’s not a brawl. It’s not gore and brutality. It’s an art," she said.

"It’s an opportunity for courage. It’s an exercise of overcoming."

Labelled an American hero when she received a bronze medal in Beijing but branded a barbarian for her success in UFC, Rousey concluded: "And I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t judge me for it."

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