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Ronda Rousey Defends Her UFC Title—and Badass Status

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UFC champ Ronda Rousey proved this weekend that she is truly not only the ultimate fighting champion, but also an ultimate athlete—one who shows no sign of stopping. Defending her Bantamweight title, Rousey took on Brazilian Bethe Correia in a brutal cage fight that lasted a mere 34 seconds before Rousey knocked Correia out with a killer left cross. Thirty-four seconds! That's faster than you could even open a bottle of champagne to cheers her.

This weekend's win had to feel good, as it came after a no-holds-barred social media war where the two MMA fighters did the usual pre-match trash talking—until Correia decided to bring Rousey's father's suicide into it. "I hope she does not kill herself later on," the Brazilian fighter sniped. That spark appeared to be just what Rousey needed to light the fire—she came into the ring with both guns blazing. Half a minute later, it was all over. While that may seem short, Correia managed to last twice as long as Rousey's usual competitors—earlier this year "Rowdy" Rousey took out Cat Zingano with an armbar in just 14 seconds, the fastest submission ever in a UFC title fight.

This week's win seals Rousey's 12-0 professional record. And fans are so impressed that they are arguing for Rousey to be allowed to fight in the brutal men's division—especially since there doesn't seem to be a female fighter who can take her on. This is a sentiment Rousey seems to share, as she calls herself "the best fighter in the whole world," no gender qualification necessary. In fact, in July, the 28-year-old took home the Best Fighter ESPY award, beating out boxing legend Floyd Mayweather for the prestigious title (in one of our 10 Amazing Things That Happened at the ESPY Awards).

But she's just as savvy out of the ring as she is in, posing for sexy magazine shoots (like Sport's Illustrated) and appearing in movies like The Expendables 3 and Furious 7 and TV shows like Entourage. And it might actually be Rousey's real life that gives her a big break in Hollywood—she is not only going to have a biopic made about her life, but the MMA champ is reportedly going to star in it herself. Rousey is certainly living up to her controversial self-proclaimed gumption: Last week she made headlines for saying that she's not a "do-nothing bitch" and criticizing women who exist to "be pretty and be taken care of by someone else."

And for people who use the trite criticism that she looks and acts "too masculine"? "Just because my body was developed for a purpose other than f*cking millionaires doesn't mean it's masculine. I think it's femininely badass as f*ck—because there's not a single muscle on my body that isn't for a purpose," she said in a UFC video. (Find out how MMA fighters get in fighting shape in Total Knockout: One-on-One with Miesha Tate.)

It's a refreshing attitude in a sport where, up until just a few years ago, the only way women could participate were as ring girls (the ones walking around in bikinis holding up the round cards). Rousey proves that you can wear a bikini, have gorgeous hair, and still be strong and ridiculously tough. Instead of being a trophy, she wins them—all of them. And we can't wait to see what she does next.

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