Rousey’s degree from Harvard? And other outtakes

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Despite requesting 23,234 words in the Nov. 5 issue of Sports Illustrated (on newsstands now) to explain why and how MMA fighter and armbar specialist Ronda Rousey is the sport’s most transcendent star, the editors at SI insisted we cover other niche events like the ongoing World Series, Week 9 of the NFL and the start of the NBA season. Rather than let these gems from extensive interviews with or about Rousey waste away on my hard drive, SI.com presents the outtakes from our interviews:

1. Long lineage of fighters. Ronda Rousey comes from a long line of fighters, but not in the way of the Mayweather clan. Fighters in her family battled in the most unusual of fashions, dating back to her great-grandfather on her mother’s side, Alfred Waddell…

2. The other side of the family tree. While it’s not hard to see how Ronda is like her 1984 World Judo Champion, armbarring mother, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, (“She was the Armbar Lady and now I’m Armbar Lady Part Duece”, says Rousey), the parallels to her father are obscured. When I asked Ronda how she is like her late father, Ron, she paused for a longer period than it took for her to win the Junior World Judo Championships…

3. V is for victory … or is it vampire? As outlined in this week’s SI, Ronda and her familmoved from Rialto, Calif. to Minot, N.D., in part, because of Minot State University’s lauded speech therapy program agreed to treat Rousey for free. A lack of oxygen to her brain at birth rendered the future fighter’s speech incoherent, even to family members. Years of treatment, however, helped Ronda overcome the impediment and issue some of the MMA’s most famous verbal smackdowns…

4. We saw her first. The latest SI isn’t Rousey’s first time gracing the pages of the magazine. In the Sept. 17, 2001 edition, she appeared as a Face In the Crowd with the following text: “Ronda, 14, went 9-0 while winning the 13-14 age-group national, international and Junior Olympic gold medals in the 134-pound class this summer. She also was first in the 15-16 age group in the 125-pound class at the international championships and in the youth Canada Cup.”…

5. It’s Dr. Rousey to you. Bet you didn’t know that Ronda Rousey has a doctorate from Harvard. Her subject matter? Mixology. Let her explain: “I had a certificate that said, doctor of mixology, Harvard University, that I actually got from Harvard University. A friend of mine was a research assistant over there and it was one of those student or university perks and she brought me in on that. So I am a doctorate from Harvard and it only took me one afternoon. Eat that, you smart b—hes!”

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