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Ronda Rousey’s competitive desire fueled by memory of deceased father

Newly crowned Strikeforce bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey may appear to have ice water running through her veins but beneath her hardened demeanor she is a human being like the rest of us. Such a notion came to light last weekend in a pre-fight interview package where Rousey spoke about her roots, specifically in regards to the impact her father had on her life despite his untimely passing when she was still in elementary school.

“I was first a swimmer. I was swimming when I was six. That was the thing me and my Dad did together. I remember my dad scooping me out of bad at 4:00 AM, just throwing me in the car and driving to swim meets. He always told me, ‘You’re going to win the Olympics one day,’” Rousey explained before adding that she lost passion for it when he died a few years later.

However, while Rousey gave up swimming based it wasn’t long until she was doing proverbial laps around competition on the mat after deciding to tag along with her mother, accomplished judoka Ann Maria Damars, on a visit to the gym of a friend.

“When I was ten or so my mom went to go visit her old teammates who opened up schools of their own. I went and tried it one day. I still had that mindset my dad gave me that if I was going to do something I’m going to be the best in the world,” revealed Rousey, saying she immediately put it in her mind that she would one day be an Olympian herself. As time would tell she not only made it to the games but won a medal as well becoming the first American woman to do so in the sport.

“I feel like everything happens for a reason because I never would have started judo if my dad hadn’t died…And this is where life has been steering me since the very beginning and this is why all these things have happened. I promised him one day I’d be the best in the world at something and I just really wish that he was here to see it.”

After her success on Saturday night against Miesha Tate there’s no doubt her father would have been a proud papa, as Rousey solidified her position as one of the top 135ers in the world and possibly #1 depending on how the remainder of her 2012 unfolds.

Watch the full, emotional interview below: