It seems former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will never say never when it comes to announcing her MMA retirement.
But she basically did the same thing by putting stratospheric odds on her return to the cage.
During an interview today on “Ellen,” Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was asked if she’s done with MMA. Her answer left pretty much no doubt that professional fighting is not in her future – with some wiggle room to walk it back.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I think it’s just as likely as me going back to another Olympics for judo. No one demanded a written resignation from me for judo, and I don’t think the same thing is necessary for fighting, and I’m just doing what I enjoy. WWE is what I enjoy right now.”
Rousey signed on with the industry-leading professional wrestling promotion in January, ending months of speculation about her future. She’ll make her official debut on April 8 at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans.
An avid fan of pro wrestling, Rousey is no stranger to the action in the ring. During her MMA career, she paid tribute to it by forming the “Four Horsewomen” alongside her MMA teammate Shayna Baszler, who is now signed to the WWE.
Rousey said transitioning from real to fake fighting doesn’t worry her too much.
“I’m nervous, but it’s not like, Olympics nervous,” she said. “The worst thing that can happen is I’ll look stupid, which is not the worst thing that could really happen. So I can’t think of the last time I was so excited for anything.”
UFC President Dana White has said he’s “very happy” to see Rousey transition away from MMA.
This past November, the UFC executive said that while the ex-champ won’t announce her retirement and continues to get drug tested by promotion anti-doping partner USADA, he doesn’t want to see her fight again.
“I wouldn’t want to see it,” White told MMAjunkie. “I don’t want it to have to happen. I care about her, and she’s got enough money. She’s got enough money and all of that stuff. I don’t want to see it happen.”
Rousey’s last trip to the cage ended in a shocking defeat when she was knocked out in under one round by current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. She had taken 13 months off following a knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 that cost her the UFC title.
Despite her precipitious fall in the sport, Rousey is widely credited with helping bring women into the UFC. On the fifth anniversary of her first UFC title defense, the first-ever women’s fight in the octagon, several vets spoke about the former Olympic judoka’s contribution to MMA.
Now, Rousey is changing directions to blaze another trail in a decorated career.
“I’ve never been on a team my whole life,” she said. “When I was swimmer, I was alone. When I did judo, I was alone. When I was a fighter, I was alone. With wrestling, it’s like a big team. Everyone’s trying to work together to make it as great as possible.”
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