As noted, former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey took her rightful place in the UFC Hall Of Fame during a ceremony held as part of International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend.
Featured below is a recap of the portion of the UFC Hall Of Fame that featured the WWE Superstar. The recap comes courtesy of Paul Fontaine.
Ronda Rousey (Modern Wing)
A video package aired prior to the induction speech putting over how important Rousey was to the sport with virtually every big star, both man and woman, in the last several years commenting including Jon Jones, Rashad Evans, Miesha Tate, Chuck Liddell and many others. Some of the current women stars talked about how she inspired them to get into the sport. Jon Anik talked about several numbers, emphasizing 90, which is the number of female fighters currently under contract to UFC and they all owe Ronda Rousey for it.
Dana White gave the induction speech. He said that in 18 years, he’s learned a lot of things but most importantly “never say never”. He admitted that Rousey changed his mind about allowing women to fight in the UFC and in doing so, she changed the world. He said he was shocked at the backlash when they signed Rousey and then announced that she would headline the show over Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida. He said she proved that not only could women fight but that they could sell tickets and PPVs. He said that Rousey launched a women’s revolution, empowering women to fight for what they want and never take no for an answer. He said that out of all the big stars they’ve had over the years, only Ronda Rousey transcended the sport and became a cultural icon. He surprisingly mentioned that she’s now making millions doing professional wrestling.
Another video package again emphasized the importance of everything that Rousey did, dating back to her days in judo and her early MMA fights. They must not have been able to get the rights for “Bad Reputation” as they had a sound-alike song playing during the video package. Jon Anik said her run of 6 consecutive title defences, all by finish, will not be duplicated any time soon. Paige VanZant said that when she saw Ronda in the UFC, she realized she could do this as a career. Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk said similar things. Joe Rogan called her the biggest pioneer in the history of MMA.
Rousey was accomponied by her husband Travis Browne and did come out to the Bad Reputation song. She seemed overwhelmed by everything at the start of her speech. She thanked “you”, meaning the UFC fans. She said that for 10 years, she was at the pinnacle of athletic achievment and no one cared and it was only when she came into MMA and people cared, that it made a difference. She talked about what an honor it is to be the first woman inducted into the Hall of Fame and hopes to be the first of many. She said that “we changed what it means to fight like a girl”.
She said that the fans have inspired her and that everything that fans claim she’s done for them, they’ve done for her tenfold. She gave a very personal speech to her fans encouraging them to not believe anything negative people say about them. She said it was an honor to be able to go through this journey with everyone and this was only possible because they were all watching.
The speech was short but incredibly humble, moving and personal and not at all what you would normally expect from Rousey. This was a great 2 hour show and well worth watching if you’ve just been reading along.
The show closed with all of the inductees coming out onto the stage for a curtain call.
Check out complete UFC Hall Of Fame 2018 results at F4WOnline.com.