Kay Hansen got into MMA because of Ronda Rousey, and after a first-round armbar win at UFC on ESPN 12, she got the ultimate endorsement from her hero.
Rousey tweeted at Hansen after the 20-year-old UFC newcomer – and second-youngest fighter in the UFC – tapped Jinh Yu Frey with her signature move in the third round of the preliminary-card bout.
Congratulations looking forward to seeing more from you! Nice armbar https://t.co/or5nwIgNgr— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) June 27, 2020
Hansen took the bout on six days’ notice, reportedly taking a call from UFC matchmakers while at a Starbucks. She suffered a serious cut over her left eyebrow and likely will be medically suspended. But she now has a place in the industry-leading promotion, three straight wins, and a very famous fan.
“I’ve been getting stitched up this whole time, so I haven’t even had a chance to even look at my phone yet, but that’s awesome – veterans supporting young guns,” Hansen said afterward. “It’s all a cycle, and there’s going to be little girls under me one day, and I think it’s great that we support each other that way.”
Hansen also made one smart bettor $20,000 richer after a $37,000 wager on her win at a Las Vegas sports book, per veteran sports reporter Darren Rovell.
A $37,000 bet was just placed at @BetMGM sportsbook at MGM Grand in Vegas on Kay Hansen to beat Jinh Yu Frey in the women’s strawweight fight tonight. Would win $20,000. pic.twitter.com/R2i4Qgaekd— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 27, 2020
“I don’t know who did it, but that’s a lot of money to bet on someone making their UFC debut,” she said. “But congrats, I guess. ... It didn’t put any pressure on me because, that’s your choice. I’m not responsible for fulfilling that, but it is cool to see people putting that kind of faith in me.”
Rousey is currently inactive on the competitive circuit after a stint in the WWE. The former UFC bantamweight champ has jumped on the online gaming craze and recently passed one million subscribers on her YouTube channel.
Hansen, who’s also boxed professionally, made her way to the UFC after a 5-3 stint in Invicta FC.