Rousey on the rise


Sarah Hartzell

It was the thirty-four seconds heard ‘round the world.

On Aug. 1, UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey arm barred her way into pop culture history by knocking out opponent Bethe Correia in just over half a minute. The short-lived broadcast became the most-viewed pay-per-view broadcast of the year and was all anyone could talk about on social media.

Rousey’s star has continued to rise since the fight, thanks in part to her takedown of controversial boxer Floyd Mayweather. On ESPN’s SportsCenter, Mayweather took aim at Rousey, saying, “I’ve yet to see any MMA fighter, or other boxer, make over $300 million in 36 minutes. When she can do that, then call me.”

Rousey fired back in an interview with TMZ Sports: “I actually did the math, and given the numbers of my last fight, I’m actually the highest-paid UFC fighter and I’m a woman. I think I actually make two to three times more than he does per second … so when he learns to read and write, he can text me.”

Given Mayweather’s fervent anti-fanbase, especially among women—he has a history of domestic violence— Rousey has been hailed as a hero for fighting back against his sexist and egotistical statements.

Rousey’s draw extends beyond the world of sports, though. Most recently, Rousey was cast as the lead in the remake of the 1989 film Road House— a role originated by the late Patrick Swayze. The movie isn’t short on fight scenes, so Rousey is sure to bring an element of realism to the cult classic. Rousey made her film debut as a bouncer in Expendables 3.

The fighter seems set on making the transition to Hollywood full-time, if her Reddit AMA is anything to go by. When asked what superhero movie she’d like to star in, Rousey put her name in for the role of Captain Marvel, the first female-led superhero movie by Marvel Studios. Since then, she has posted several fan renderings of her as Captain Marvel to her Instagram and has received an outpouring of support.

From the octagon to the big screen, Rousey’s rise is nothing short of meteoric, making her one of the biggest cross-industry stars over the course of just a few months. And it all began with thirty-four fateful seconds.