UFC star Ronda Rousey may be one of the best-known female athletes around, but there are a lot of things you don't know about the women's bantamweight champion. As her sister/biographer, I feel like I should share a few of those things.
Ronda Rousey has only ever dated guys named "Bob."
Our mom, AnnMaria De Mars, who also happens to be the 1984 world judo champion, has a policy of calling all of our boyfriends and even potential boyfriends by the name "Bob." Her reasoning: "What's the point in learning his name if he's not going to be sticking around?"
She also assigns completely arbitrary numbers to each Bob to differentiate one from another. For example, Ronda's last boyfriend was "Bob 6." And yes, she calls them that to their faces.
So how does a boyfriend move from Bob to his actual name? The only way that happens is upon marrying into the family. So yes, by this standard, Ronda has dated only guys named Bob. (Well, except for Ronda's first boyfriend, but Mom's name for him is not suitable for print.)
Ronda's first trip to the emergency room was for a reason you'd never guess.
Ronda's list of fight injuries is common knowledge, but would you believe that the first time she ever went to the ER was because of a Raisinet? This was the scene: Ronda and her two older sisters, Jennifer and I, had been making silly faces that involved putting candy in our nostrils -- because hey, that's the kind of stupid stuff small children find hilarious. Then, Ronda pushed a Raisinet up a bit too far.
When it wouldn't budge, we had no choice but to tell our mom. When she couldn't get the candy out, seeking medical attention was the only option. We loaded into the car and headed for the nearest ER. Just as we were pulling into our parking spot, the candy dislodged and popped out. The chocolate layer had melted just enough to let the raisin slide out.
To this day, Ronda avoids Raisinets like the plague.
She can draw a mean orca, but doesn't want to get chomped by one.
Ronda has always been into art, and she's often sketching or doodling something. Her subject of choice: sea life. She's known to draw dolphins on pretty much everything. She even painted a full mural in her childhood bedroom that features kelp, a sea lion and random fish. She initially wanted to be a marine biologist, but opted for a career as a fighter, in part, because "you're less likely to get eaten by a killer whale."
She's even more into video games than you thought.
Ronda's postfight plans following UFC 184? "To lie on the couch for two weeks and play video games."
Her Pokemon obsession has been well documented, but Ronda is a serious gamer beyond Pikachu. (For the record, Ronda's favorite Pokemon is actually Mew.) Nowadays, she is more likely to be found playing "World of Warcraft." At family gatherings, she dominates at "Mario Kart." Her character of choice: Black Yoshi. She also has impressive "Just Dance" skills.
But beyond playing games, she is taking a role in creating them. She serves as a storyline consultant -- and not in the "name only" sense -- for 7 Generation Games, an educational video game company for which she has drafted the stories for several games' side quests and Easter eggs.
Two-week-itis: It's not contagious, but you want to stay away.
Ronda is a force to be reckoned with in the cage, but those close to her know facing her two weeks out from a fight is when she's her most scary. It's what she and those around her refer to as "two-week-itis." During that time, you don't even want to make eye contact with her. She's started cutting weight, so she's hungry. She's training at full speed, so she's tired and irritable. She walks into the Octagon with nerves of steel -- but that's because she did all of her stressing out two weeks earlier.
Maria Burns Ortiz is the co-author of "My Fight/Your Fight" with Ronda Rousey, due out in May (Regan Arts) -- and is also Ronda Rousey's older sister.