Ronda Rousey says her admiration for Hulk Hogan inspired to join the WWE.

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey

The 31-year-old MMA fighter made her name competing in the UFC but has now made the switch to sports entertainment and will be make her debut in a wrestling ring in a mixed tag team match at 'WrestleMania 34' where she will partner Kurt Angle against Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon.

Ronda grew up as a huge wrestling fan and was a dedicated Hulkamaniac and it was her love of Hulk's exploits in the ring that made her want to become a WWE Superstar herself.

In an interview with MirrorOnline, she said: "I grew up in The Midwest, in North Dakota, and WWE was very big when I was a kid. I had an obsession with Hulk Hogan, before I could even talk because I had trouble speaking as a kid ... When I started to get older, like I still really idolised Hulk Hogan for being the biggest, toughest guy on the planet. I didn't even know there were women wrestlers back then, I thought it was only men, to be honest. But I wanted to be that. I wanted to be Hulk Hogan. I was a bleached blonde little kid and my sisters made fun of me for being blonde, because both our parents were brunette, like 'you're adopted!' You know, he was the bleached blonde, toughest guy in the world, I felt like I was like him."

Rousey - who got her in-ring nickname 'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey from late WWE Hall of Fame grappler 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper - admits she was disappointed when she discovered that wrestling matches were pre-determined but as an MMA competitor learned to respect the complexity of wrestling.

Rousey believes that every path she has taken in her combat career has led her to joining the WWE.

She said: "When I was a kid I felt so bad when I found out it was scripted, but as an adult, I understood, how intricate and complex and almost more difficult it is ... because it is scripted, there's so much more of an art to it that I didn't really realise. I think I had to be older to have that point of view and I had to have already been a fighter to give it that respect. It's really been a journey to get here ... I feel that everything in my life has led me here. And everything happens for a reason. I look back on this path as the perfect recipe to be where I'm at."

Rousey can't wait to partner with her fellow Olympic gold medallist Kurt, 49, and create her own unforgettable 'WrestleMania' moment when the showpiece event takes place on April 8 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans.

She said: "It's an absolute honour to be in this match at all and to have someone like Kurt working with me. He was my absolute hero when I was a kid, because all I wanted was to win an Olympic gold medal and not only did he win an Olympic gold medal, he won it with a broken neck ... I really feel like I could have no better mentor than him in this match. I'm extremely grateful and lucky and I know that we're going to tear the house down."