AnnMaria DeMars, the mother of combat sports superstar Ronda Rousey and a former judo world champion, was appointed Thursday to the California State Athletic Commission by Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to a release.
DeMars, 63, was a pioneer in United States judo, becoming the first American to win a gold medal at the world judo championships in 1984. She is also the former judo coach of Rousey, an Olympic judo bronze medalist in 2008.
In her role on the commission, DeMars can vote on policy and regulations that affect combat sports athletes in California, which holds the most boxing and MMA events of any state in the country. According to the release, DeMars’ appointment is contingent on the California state senate’s approval, but that is likely a formality.
Like her mother, Rousey was a pioneer in judo, but she has also made a massive impact on MMA. She was the first female fighter signed by UFC in 2012 and one of the most dominant champions in MMA history. Currently, Rousey performs for WWE and is one of that promotion’s biggest stars, having taken part in the first women’s WrestleMania main event in 2019.
Also appointed to the California commission Thursday was U.S. Army veteran Stephen Gruwell.