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De Mars: Ronda Rousey's great grandfather one of the first black physicians in North America

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey is famous for being one of the top mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the world, who also helped pave the way for the next generation of female fighters.

But she's not the only one in her family to break a few barriers.

"I'll give you a movie. 'Before His Time,' it's my grandfather -- Ronda's great grandfather -- featured in Black History Month every year in Canada," Rousey's mom, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, told TMZ. "He was one of the first black physicians in North America."

Dr. Alfred Waddell, to be exact, explained by

On an island off the coast of Venezuela in the 1920s, Waddell had dream even more audacious than Rousey's aspiration breaking people's arms for money: He wanted to heal them as a physician. The black-skinned Venezuelan boarded a boat with his bride, Emilia, and headed to New York City to begin his studies at Columbia University. After graduation, however, no medical schools in the United States would admit a black Latino. Undeterred, Waddell submitted applications to medical schools in Canada, where he gained admittance and began a long career as a respected physician. Today, Dr. Waddell is a celebrated figure, especially during Black History month. A CBC documentary, Before His Time, chronicles his journey.

Waddell is also credited for his role as a civil-rights activist.

As for Rousey, she's expected to return to the Octagon later this year, presumably for a rematch with newly-crowned champion (and longtime nemesis) Miesha Tate. The exact date of her "Rowdy" return is largely dependent on her current film schedule.

For more on her pending "Cupcake" do-over click here.

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