When Ronda Rousey took the UFC by storm, smashing her first six opponents with relative ease, she had an air of invincibility about her. Holly Holm exposed her as a mere mortal 13 months ago, and at UFC 207 on Friday night Rousey looked like a shell of her former self as Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes tore her limb from limb in 48 seconds.
Rousey is one of the most influential female athletes in the world and perhaps the most well known fighter in mixed martial arts history, but the 29-year-old has become a polarizing figure.
Detractors had a field day on the internet following Rousey’s loss to Nunes. But one person who will always be in Rousey’s corner no matter the circumstances is her mother, AnnMaria De Mars.
It’s unclear what Rousey’s future holds but De Mars wrote a heartfelt blog post hours after her daughter’s latest loss.
“Those of you who want to criticize Ronda, I just want to point out a few things. First of all, I know her better than you and she is a smart, kind, talented, generous, hard-working person,” De Mars wrote before listing many of Rousey’s accomplishments including her 2008 Olympic bronze medal in judo.
She continued: “Let me suggest that someone who has been world level athlete in two sports, written a best seller, acted in movies and made millions of dollars, all before the age of 30 has a pretty darn good track record. On top of that, Ronda has been part of the USADA drug testing since she was 16 years old, never failed a drug test, always paid her taxes, never been arrested, never been to rehab, has zero divorces, zero DUIs and zero children [before she was able and willing to raise them]. While you might think that is to be expected, look how many celebrities (heck, look how many of your neighbours) can say that.
“I am very proud of my daughter.”
De Mars was the first American to win gold at the World Judo Championships when she did so in 1984 and served as a major influence on Rousey’s career path. Despite that she had alway been wary of the dangers of MMA.
“I would like to see her retire,” De Mars told TMZ Sports after UFC 207. “I would’ve liked to see her retire a long time ago. Who wants to see their kid get hit?
“I told her at the beginning when she started this. I said, ‘You’re smart and beautiful. Let the stupid people get punched int he face.’ Sorry, stupid people.”