After starting her MMA career in 2010, Ronda Rousey never imagined that nine years later she would still be recovering from her past injuries. The 32-year-old WWE Superstar has had her fair share of surgeries including stem cell therapy for her right knee.
"Including the stem cell, I've had seven knee surgeries," Rousey stated at the beginning of the documentary, Road to Recovery. "They've all been on my right knee. I have no ACL or cartilage. My ACL tore during my MMA career. I got it repaired a long time ago. I've been operating with no ACL and barely any cartilage for like the past four or five years."
Because of her torn ACL, Rousey spent that time in recovery learning how to do armbars, which became the most impactful maneuver she ever used in her career.
"[On tearing her ACL] It was probably one of my formative events in my career," Rousey began. "It's one of those instances where I talk about advantageous disadvantages. When I tore my ACL, I spent an entire year just doing armbars. That's what brought me to the next level and forced me to not really do all of my favorite throws, which really required me standing on my right leg. I had to think of an entire repertoire that did not involve my right leg.
"I was putting almost a hundred percent of my focus towards exploring Randori judo, which is mat work. So, by the time my knee healed, I had double the amount of throws and a sick ground game. That was the best thing that ever happened to me."
Even though she is in much better shape after her surgeries, to a certain extent, she is still very cautious on how she uses her right leg and how much weight she can put on it, even when she is wrestling.
"With my knee troubles my whole life, it has really forced me to be very cautious of how I place my weight on that leg," Rousey mentioned. "I have to be so precise on how I plant my right leg. I have to really, really focus on how I place my foot. No matter what direction I'm going, I have to turn my body and compensate so that my right leg always lands solid, and there's no strain on the ligaments. I think a lot of people a lot of times depend on their hardware of their body to hold themselves together instead of the mechanics of their movement, and it really forced me to be extremely precise with how I move and place my feet."
You can watch the documentary in the video above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit FyzioGym and Revolution Physical Therapy with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.