On Feb. 1, Ronda Rousey turns 29 years old. The mixed martial arts champion, author, model and actress got into martial arts at a very young age. Her mother, a world judo champion, introduced her to the sport at age 11 as a positive way to channel her energy. Rousey became an Olympian by age 15, competed and won many championships and retired from judo by age 21.
From judo, Rousey progressed to a legendary mixed martial arts career that helped usher the sport into the mainstream and cemented the place of women in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Although she recently suffered her only loss to Holly Holm in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport, Rousey continues her reign as a global — and very rich — MMA superstar. Here’s how she rose to success and amassed her millions as a champion fighter.
Ronda Rousey Net Worth: $9 Million
One of the most successful champions in UFC history, Rousey’s net worth is $9 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth. In 2015, Forbes ranked Rousey as the eighth highest-paid female athlete when she earned $6.5 million, including $3 million in salary and $3.5 million in endorsements — not to mention her earnings from her best selling book, “My Fight / Your Fight.”
Rousey’s many endorsements include Metro PCS, Reebok, Carl’s Jr. and Monster headphones. Although it’s unclear how that $3.5 million in endorsement deals breaks down, Rousey earned $80,000 from a league-wide Reebok sponsorship that kicked in at UFC 189 — $40,000 of which was from each of her two final UFC appearances.
At UFC 190, Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia in just 34 seconds. Fortune estimated that between salary, bonuses and pay-per-view (PPV) earnings, Rousey made $5 million in just over half a minute. This would put her on par with UFC’s most dominant and recognizable male champions. She beat Alex Davis and Cat Zingano in 30 seconds combined, earning her roughly $217,000 per second for the two fights.
Ronda Rousey Fights: Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm
On Nov. 14, 2015, former world champion boxer Holly Holm entered UFC 193 an 8-1 underdog versus reigning champion Rousey. Less than six minutes after the bell rang, Holm was the female bantamweight champion. In one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history, which ESPN called the “KO of the year,” Holm knocked out Rousey with a head kick after dominating much of the fight.
Prior to her shocking loss at UFC 193, USA Today reported that Rousey may have been paid up to $10 million for her fight against Holly Holm. Fox Sports estimated that Holm earned only $333,000 — or $1,100 per second — not counting bonuses and PPV earnings.
Ronda Rousey: Next Fight Against Holly Holm
UFC president Dana White said in an interview with Yahoo Sports that Rousey asked for — and was granted — some time off from fighting after her defeat. Although her fight schedule has not been announced, it has been confirmed that she will not fight in UFC 200 in July 2016. When she is ready to return, it will be a rematch against Holm, even if Holm is no longer the champion.
Ronda Rousey: SNL and ‘Road House’ Remake
One of the reasons 2016 will be quieter than 2015 for Rousey — as she fought three times that year — is because of her upcoming movie and TV roles. She needs time, not only to heal from the brutal beating she took at the hands of Holm, but to wrap up filming for “Road House,” a remake of the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie of the same name.
Although she played smaller parts in “The Expendables 3,” “Furious 7” and “Entourage,” “Road House” will be Rousey’s first starring role. She also performed on NBC’s Saturday Night Live on Jan. 23, 2016 alongside musical guest Selena Gomez. This was the first time since her loss to Holm that she spoke publicly to her fans.
Rousey’s earnings for film and TV have not been made public, but Forbes estimated Rousey earned $3 million split between acting and fighting between June 2014 and June 2015.
Ronda Rousey: Fighting Champion and Comeback
Although Rousey is no longer cloaked in the air of invincibility that surrounded her before the Holm fight, she is still a global superstar — and a very rich lady. She has parlayed her fighting celebrity into a lucrative career in entertainment. The question now, though, is whether or not Rousey will be able to rake in the kind of paydays she was earning before her recent loss to Holm.
“Rousey will continue to raise her profile via Sports Illustrated and the upcoming ‘Road House’ remake,” said Daniel K. Lobring,managing director of communications at rEvolution, an integrated sports marketing agency. “All of that will impact her earnings and her celebrity status. But to be continued to be recognized as an elite athlete, and the face of the sport, she’ll need to continue to win.”