Since her one-minute TKO loss to Amanda Nunes this year in her last UFC fight, former women’s champion and Olympic Judo medalist Ronda Rousey has been living the quiet life, but that could soon change if she enters the world of pro wrestling
Dana White spoke to reporters about Rousey at a recent press conference, saying he’s regularly in contact with her and hope she remains retired, thought Rousey hasn’t announced she’s done with MMA
“Look at where she’s at in life,” White said. “She’s accomplished everything she’s ever wanted to accomplish, she’s been working since she was a kid. She became an Olympic medalist and a world champion and she’s made (a lot) of money.”
As far as fighting again, White doesn’t feel she has anything to prove. She led a revolution in fight sports. Rousey personally broke the glass ceiling in MMA for women. Now women regularly headline UFC’s biggest pay-per-views and are some of the company’s most recognizable stars. At Rousey’s peak, she was questionably the most popular athlete alive.
White and fight journalists have often compared her rise and fall to Mike Tyson. Rousey would defeat opponents in seconds, using a combination her high-level of judo training and out-matching opponents quickly. The rest of the roster caught up quick, as women got more into fighting - because of Rousey.
White said he doesn’t want to see her in the octagon again, but that would be up to Rousey. She’s never officially retired, and she’s never stopped her regularly mandated drug testing regimen with USADA.
Her testing days will soon be over, according to reports from USA Today, where two sources close to Rousey said she’s finalizing a deal to move to World Wrestling Entertainment and beging a pro wrestling career. Rousey’s ties to pro wrestling are deep. She made an appearance at a Wrestlemania card several years ago; then appeared at another event in September, ‘challenging’ WWE’s top women’s star Charlotte Flair to a fight during a staredown.
Rousey’s “Rowdy” nickname was in honor of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who died in 2015. She regularly wore Piper’s “Hot Rod” t-shirt during ring entrances and other appearances. She’s also a friend and trained under “Judo” Gene Le Bell, who made his name as a martial artist, stuntman and pro wrestler. Le Bell also trained Piper.
Rousey would be the second celebrity to join WWE’s women’s roster this year. Kacy Catanzaro, the acrobatic star from NBC’s America Ninja Warrior, signed a contract with WWE in August. Catanzaro has appeared in commercials and was the leading face of the show for several seasons.