Ronda Rousey’s Childhood Is More Tragic Than You Think

Ronda Rousey holds the distinction of being one of the best female fighters ever, but she’s also one of the most important fighters ever. That’s because, without her, the UFC may not have ever started its women’s divisions. That said, despite being one of the most famous people in the world, she’s had a very tragic childhood, to say the least.

Ronda Rousey’s early childhood problems

Right out the gate, she was born fighting. USA Today said her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck at birth, but she was able to survive. That said, this issue led to her being deprived of oxygen for a bit, and that gave her some minor brain damage. USA Today said that Rousey wasn’t able to speak a coherent word until she was 6 years old. 

Getting to that point was a battle, too. USA Today said that, due to her apraxia, which is the name of the learning disability that she had, her parents moved to a new town that was closer to specialized care.

At just 3 years old, she moved to North Dakota, where her parents got speech therapists to help her learn to speak. Eventually, she was able to speak normally, but that was the least of her problems. 

Tragedy as a child

One day, when Ronda Rousey was a kid, she and her sisters went sledding with their dad, Ron Rousey. He accidentally broke his back, and due to a rare blood disorder, his back wasn’t able to heal properly. The doctors were trying all types of stuff with him, including giving him transfusions as well as putting rods in his back.

But eventually, as Rousey said the doctors told him that he’d be a paraplegic, then, he’d become a quadriplegic, and finally, he’d die a few years later, and that there was nothing that the doctors could do for him.

Ron was in pain, he couldn’t work anymore, and he felt like a burden to his family. And, since he was the type of guy who’d try to support others, he couldn’t live with it anymore, and so, when Rousey was 8 years old, he took his own life. 

Rousey tried to cope with her dad’s death by imagining that he was just on a business trip and that he’d be back some day. Nowadays, Rousey is very aware of mental health issues and she talks openly about her own mental health.

Ronda Rousey lived in a car for a time

Although Rousey was an Olympic-level athlete, she wasn’t well-paid for her work. In fact, according to Fox Sports, after she came home with her bronze medal in 2008, she only had enough money to buy a 2005 Honda Accord. Not only was this Accord her car, but it was also her home for a time. 

She, like many Americans, worked different jobs trying to make ends meet. Rent for an apartment costs a lot of money, so she chose to live in her car while saving up for rent, according to Fox Sports. But of course, her story is more optimistic from here on out. A few years after this, she’d find a home in the UFC, and there, she’d make millions and become the face of women in combat sports. 

She kept her Accord though, and handed it down to her sister, according to Fox Sports. Eventually, with about 150,000 miles on the odometer, Rousey put her old car up for auction on eBay. She decided to sell the car as is, which meant that there were some of her personal effects in there. Her little old car sold for about $21,000.