Unfortunately, as is too often the case in life, one of Ronda Rousey’s biggest supporters never got an opportunity to see the dynamic 25-year old achieve success on an Olympic level or at this past weekend’s Strikeforce event. That individual was none other than her father who sadly passed away when she was only eight years old.

Not only did Rousey lose a loving parent but also the man who instilled a genuine drive in her, often taking her swimming at an early age while aspiring to see his daughter one day compete in the Olympics. While she stopped heading to the pool after his death based on the pain involved it was his voice she heard in her head as soon as she first took up judo.

Rousey recounted the story in a pre-fight interview with Strikeforce prior to her title-winning performance against Miesha Tate on Saturday night where, eyes welling with tears, she spoke about how important her father was and still is in her life.

“When I was ten or so my mom went to go visit her old teammates who opened up schools of their own. I went and tried it one day. I still had that mindset my dad gave me that if I was going to do something I’m going to be the best in the world,” Rousey explained. “I feel like everything happens for a reason because I never would have started judo if my dad hadn’t died…And this is where life has been steering me since the very beginning and this is why all these things have happened. I promised him one day I’d be the best in the world at something and I just really wish that he was here to see it.”

Watch the full interview below:


MMATraining Take: This interview definitely affected me on a personal level. Seeing a woman as tough as Rousey reduced to tears, the pain seemingly as fresh now as it was for her seventeen years ago, definitely produced a lump in my throat. While her father may be gone he still lives on in his daughter and would no doubt be one of the proudest papas on this planet were he around.