Former U.S. Olympic judoka Ronda Rousey needed just 24 seconds to stay perfect in mixed martial arts on Friday, armbarring previously unbeaten Taylor Stratford to win her third amateur bout in five months.
Rousey tripped Stratford to the mat almost instantly and leapt onto her opponent’s back. Stratford was able to slip free momentarily, but Rousey latched onto the fight-ending submission from guard and rolled Stratford over, forcing the referee to halt the action.
The match, which took place at Tuff-N-Uff’s “Las Vegas vs. 10th Planet Riverside” event in Las Vegas on Friday, was to serve as a semifinal to the promotion’s 145-pound amateur tournament. However, in her post-fight interview, the 2008 Beijing Games bronze medalist promptly announced her intentions to vacate the amateur ranks.
“My first pro fight is February 26, next month,” said Rousey, who did not specify which organization she would be fighting for.
The 23-year-old Californian is part of Team Hayastan, where she trains under legendary judokas Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LeBell. Despite the quick finish, Rousey expected some razzing from her trainers.
“Knowing everybody on my team, the second I get off the mat, they’re gonna say, ‘What took so long?’” Rousey said, before offering a candid assessment of her MMA progress. “I think I probably need more experience standing there and striking, but I get some jitters and I just wanna end it. Hopefully, later, I’ll be able to do more of my standing game.”