Mixed martial-arts fighter Ronda Rousey to star in biopic of herself
UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion branches further into movies
Before last weekend, if you'd heard of Ronda Rousey, you were probably a fan of Mixed Martial Arts, the combat sport formerly known as cage fighting and which could be defined as 'beating people up but with rules'. However, on Sat 1 Aug Rousey made headlines when she spectacularly retained her title as UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion, knocking out challenger Bethe Correia in a brutal 34 seconds. Variety has now announced that Rousey's autobiography My Fight/Your Fight is to be made into a movie, and that the role of Ronda Rousey will be played by, well, Ronda Rousey.
Rousey's life story is truly the stuff of biopics. She was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, depriving her brain of oxygen, and didn't speak her first sentence until she was six, although her detractors would claim that she's more than made up for it in mouthiness ever since. Her mother AnnMaria De Mars was the first US citizen to win a World Judo Championship. Her father Ronald Rousey encouraged her interest in swimming but, suffering from the painful after-effects of an accident, he committed suicide in 1995. Ronda took up judo at the age of 11, trained by her mother, and rose to the point of winning a Bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But when she took up MMA her ferocious fighting style, unbeaten record and badass demeanour quickly made her the sport's biggest star, male or female. Rousey is an enthusiastic trash-talker, arguing that a bit of controversy increases the visibility of women in the sport. When she received the ESPY Best Fighter award, breaking veteran boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr's three-year winning streak, she caustically alluded to Mayweather's history of domestic violence charges with the remark 'I wonder how he feels about being beaten by a woman for once?'
Rousey has appeared in films before, with roles in The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and Entourage (in which she played herself), and she's appearing in Peter Berg's upcoming Mile 22. In the biopic, which is being adapted for Paramount by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes screenwriter Mark Bomback, she'll join the rare category of people who've starred in entire movies more or less about their own lives: WWII hero Audie Murphy; shock-jock Howard Stern; Eminem and The Beatles. Rousey's stated ambition is to retire from fighting undefeated. Whether her undoubted charisma will translate into a movie career remains to be seen, but as her record shows, she's not exactly short on determination.