|Famous For: The Expendables 3, Furious 7, Entourage||Currently Known For: MMA Fighter, Actress|
Currently Known For MMA Fighter, Actress
Judo is one of those sports that gets almost no exposure in the United States, but you can earn your way to fame by making it to the pinnacle of the Summer Olympics. That’s what a young Ronda Rousey did in California, training in judo at just 11 years old. As a teenager, Rousey made her way to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, winning a bronze medal for her weight class. After turning 21 years old, Rousey retired from judo, and turned her attention to mixed martial arts.
That would end up being a great decision, as Rousey has made plenty of money by changing careers. Rousey won her first match back in 2010, taking just 23 seconds to submit her opponent. Rousey then worked her way up the mixed martial arts ladder, and finally moved to the top promotion (UFC) to become the first woman signed with the company. Rousey had her first title defense in 2013, and won in the first round.
It was the start of a whirlwind of publicity, as Rousey was referred to as the toughest woman on the planet. Over the course of her next several matches, Rousey would make quick work of her opponents, and people were paying attention, even if they don't typically watch mixed martial arts. Rousey won her first six matches, and made more than $1 million total in the process. Rousey became must-see television, which translated into bigger money.
Rousey’s main event success also meant that she was getting offers to appear on television and in film. Rousey appeared at a WWE WrestleMania event with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and also starred in films such as “The Expendables 3” and “Furious 7”. There was even a cameo appearance in the “Entourage” movie. Things wouldn’t always be perfect, though, and trouble started in late 2015.
It was then that Rousey was squared off against Holly Holm for her title, and Rousey would lose in the second round despite being a heavy favorite. Rousey disappeared from the limelight to gather herself and train for a comeback. It was announced that Rousey would have a match in late 2016 in Las Vegas against Amanda Nunes. The match was supposed to be the revival of Rousey’s career, and people wanted to see it so bad that Rousey was paid $3 million for the match. However, it would last just 48 seconds as Nunes won by technical knockout.
After suffering two losses in a row, Rousey has announced that she has retired from mixed martial arts, but her career is not over by a longshot. Rousey is still a big name, and has made millions off of endorsements, fighting and acting, to the tune of $15 million. So what is next for Rousey after leaving the octagon for good? There have been talks about her joining the WWE full-time, but that has been a long-running rumor with little merit.
Movie roles are still coming in despite the fight career being over, as she has accepted leading roles in both “Mile 22” and the remake of the Patrick Swayze film “Road House”. Rousey will also be focusing on her family, as it was recently announced that she was engaged to Travis Browne, another UFC fighter. Making $15 million by the time you’re 30 years old isn’t a bad start, so she has plenty of time to add to that net worth.
30 years old is also not too old for a return to the UFC. There are always going to be opponents calling her out for going mainstream, and her competitive nature might get her back into the fighting world. Don’t be surprised if she answers the call, and UFC president Dana White will likely have a blank check waiting if Rousey does make that decision. Whether you would be rooting for Rousey to win or lose, you know that you’d be paying attention, which makes her draw that much bigger, and her bank account that much richer.
For now, though, expect Rousey to take her time training and appearing in films, as they can be more lucrative with less effort and potentially more money. If you had the choice between being punched in the face for $3 million or acting in a film for $5 million, which would you take? Keep in mind, both jobs take weeks, if not months, of preparation.