One of MMA’s top female prospects, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, needed just 25 seconds to win her pro debut Sunday night at King of the Cage: “Turning Point” in Tarzana, California. The Olympic judo bronze medallist submitted highly-touted Brazilian Ediane “India” Gomes with a first-round armbar.
Rousey’s victory, her first as a pro and fourth overall, marked the third time that she has submitted an opponent in less than 30 seconds. Her longest bout to date, a 57-second matchup with Autumn Richardson in November, also ended with an armbar. Rousey’s combined fight time is just 2:09.
After capturing a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Beijing Games, Rousey looked for a new challenge and began training for mixed martial arts in advance of her amateur MMA debut on August 6, 2010. In a brief bout, Rousey submitted Hayden Munoz with an armbar in 23 seconds. The victory led Rousey to the inaugural Tuff-N-Uff 145-pound women’s tournament on November 12th, where Rousey submitted Richardson in the quarterfinals.
Following her bout with Richardson, Rousey drew criticism from some fans for expressing a desire to challenge Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos by the end of 2011. While critics dismissed the talk as vastly premature, Rousey put on another impressive performance in her next fight when she defeated Taylor “No Mercy” Stratford, the number one-ranked amateur female fighter in the U.S., with an armbar in 24 seconds.
Rather than continue on in the amateur ranks, Rousey opted to drop out of the Tuff-N-Uff tournament in order to make her professional debut. Despite a slight scheduling change and little time to prepare for her opponent, Rousey took a big step up in competition on Sunday for her pro debut against Gomes. She passed the test with flying colours, however, by quickly taking the fight to the ground and finishing with her signature hold. Just 25 seconds had elapsed when Gomes tapped out.
Though her striking remains untested in actual fight competition, Rousey has proven that she is more than capable of taking down quality opponents at will, where those same opponents are fortunate to survive for mere seconds before having to fight off armbars from the judoka. Having now dispatched of a top-ten 145-pound opponent, Rousey is already making big statements as a professional after just a single fight.