When Ronda Rousey was but a little girl – shy and hushed – her dad bestowed upon her words to live by.
Tragically, Ron Rousey was dead when Ronda was just 8 years old. His words, however, lived on.
"He's the one that told me I'd win a gold medal and be the best in the world someday," she remembers. "And when you're 8 years old, your dad's right about everything."
And now, Ronda Rousey is 24 years old and she's become an illustration of beauty, brawn and devastating mixed-martial-arts skill that has many believing she is, indeed, destined to be the best in the world.
"I've seen plenty of great fighters; I've worked with plenty of great fighters," says Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey's trainer at the Glendale Fighting Club, "but Ronda's something different. She's just different — she's special."
On a sunny afternoon inside the Glendale Fighting Club, Rousey bounces from side to side atop an oversized truck tire. She watches every faint, every jab, every hook, as a pair of boxers go at it in the ring with trainer Tarverdyan looking on.