2015 IMPACT25 Athlete: Ronda Rousey


"I don't believe too much in regretting s---. It's a very wasteful use of energy." -- Ronda Rousey

When Ronda Rousey became the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo in 2008, only a handful of people knew her name.

Fast forward to 2015, and Rousey, a UFC bantamweight fighter, is an international force. She made UFC history with a 14-second takedown of Cat Zingano in February -- the shortest match in Championship history -- and her star continued to rise. She fought in a gown and heels in "Furious 7," and drew all of the social media attention ahead of her August match against Bethe Correia, where she improved her then-unblemished UFC record to 12-0.

The 28-year-old's reign ended in mid-November, when Holly Holm, a boxer by training, took Rousey out with a vicious kick to her jaw. It was a punishing bout that deflated a bit of Rousey's seemingly unshakeable confidence, but knowing our Rowdy, she'll be using her six-month medical suspension to heal both body and soul, and come back with a whole new set of skills.

More On Ronda Rousey

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• The Conversation with Ronda Rousey Story »

The IMPACT25 is espnW's annual list of the 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sports. Explore the 2015 list at espnW.com/IMPACT25.