Ronda Rousey moves from MMA to professional wrestling.
Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey did a promotional tour at ESPN ahead of WrestleMania 34. The tour included an interview that revealed much about the reclusive star and her decision to retire from MMA.
The 31-year-old recently signed with the WWE. She said her love of MMA waned over years in the sport.
“Judo and MMA, there were times when the process was fun and then there were times where it got to be only the results were fun, you know? And then there’s a time when things just run their course. You fall in love, then you fall out of love, and you find a new love.”
Rousey was groomed as a judoka by her mother and ended her Olympic career with a bronze medal. To medal in Judo as am American is no small feat. Rousey then became one of the biggest MMA stars in the world competing in Strikeforce before opening up the first ever Women’s division in the UFC.
“I felt satisfied, like I proved everything I needed to prove, but I didn’t feel like anybody else felt that way, and I wasn’t sure that the women’s division could survive without me. So I felt obligated to do more than what I actually wanted to, I feel. There was a while when I was just looking for an honorable way out.”
In November 2015 Rousey lost her title via devastating head-kick KO to Holly Holm. She completely disappeared from the public eye for over a year, returning at UFC 207 to be finished in 48 seconds by current champion Amanda Nunes. Despite these losses and her subsequent retreat from media, Rousey seems to be in a good mental space:
“I also think that everything happens for a reason and I have no regrets, and I’m still happy that I fulfilled those obligations. I really do feel like the women’s division can hold its own now and I’m proud of all the work I did there. I don’t need anyone else’s approval to be proud of myself.”
She explained that the transition into WWE was not some product of a desire to reclaim a competitive dominance or bask in the glow of celebrity:
“Honestly, it wasn’t that I missed it. I could very happily be in some house in the mountains somewhere and never see anybody again, and just hang out with my goats and chickens and be happy. It would only have to be something as great as the WWE, it makes me this happy, to actually pull me away from that.
”Otherwise, probably no one would hear from me. I would live in the woods and be happy. It’s all I really want.”