Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey (red gloves) and Miesha Tate (blue gloves) fight during their UFC women

Ronda Rousey wins Best Female Athlete at ESPYs

UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey continues to break ground in athletics.

She was the first American to medal in judo in the Summer Olympics. She was the first female UFC champion. Now she can add another first to her list of accolades: first combat sports athlete to win Best Female Athlete at this year’s ESPY awards.

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that the last 12 months have been good to Rousey. She went 3-0 in competition – finishing Miesha Tate, Sara McMann and Alexis Davis – filmed “The Expendables 3″ and really became the first female fighter to break ground in the UFC and stand along with the men in terms of star power.

Critics like to say that she’s not a good role model because of her conduct in the cage or that there were other women before her and they’re right to a degree. And those folks have a right to their opinion, but they can’t deny that Rousey has had the biggest impact in the sport since she came along.

The Rowdy one is in pretty good company. Some of the past winners of this honor include Venus and Serena Williams, Mia Hamm and Lindsey Vonn.

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Tags: Athletics Awards Espys MMA Ronda Rousey UFC Wmma

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