Ronda Rousey was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last week, after an eight-year professional career.
Rousey is the first woman to be inducted into the hall in the sport’s history. She has been arguably the most dominant UFC fighter and female athlete in the past few decades.
“I am not the first person who had the ability to do this, but I am here because I am the first person you took the time to watch,” Rousey said at her induction on Thursday, via ESPN. “Because of you, I am the first women standing up here to accept this incredible honor. May I be the first of many.”
Rousey’s induction was just the latest of many firsts in her fighting career. Rousey won the first ever UFC women’s fight, just two years after UFC President Dana White said that women would never have a part in UFC. White made note of his comments as he presented Rousey with the UFC Hall of Fame jacket and trophy at the ceremony on Thursday.
“In my defense, when I famously said women would never fight in the UFC, I had never met Ronda Rousey,” White said. “I had never met the woman who would change everything. She started by changing my mind and she ended up changing the world.”
A year after her first UFC fight, Rousey became the first women’s bantamweight champion – a title she held for three years and defended six times. Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm, the fight that lost her the championship belt, was one of just two losses in her entire career.
Rousey’s opponents were among the many people that she thanked in her induction speech.
“Together we built this. This division. This sport. This revolution,” she said. “Together we have redefined what it means to be strong, to be sexy. We have changed what it means to fight like a girl.”
Featured Image via: Flickr/Miguel Discart