It wasn’t that long ago that Ronda Rousey was at the top of the UFC food chain. She was on all the posters, appearing in movies alongside Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone, and The Rock, and regularly beating opponents in epic fashion, with under-15-second submission victories a frequent occurrence.
It all came crashing down though, when she was upset by Holly Holm in November 2015. Holm was clinical with her striking, bouncing Rousey around the octagon before finishing her off with a brutal head kick. Rousey would stay away from the UFC for over a year, before returning to face the current champ Amanda Nunes. That fight went even worse, as she was thoroughly out boxed and the referee stopped the fight just 48 seconds after it started to keep Rousey from suffering any further damage.
No one really knows whether Rousey will attempt another comeback fight. The 29-year-old former champ has only released a short statement since that second loss, saying she needed “some time to reflect and think about the future.”
UFC president Dana White certainly isn’t holding his breath for another PPV headlined by Rousey. On a recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast, White expressed serious doubts about Rousey ever stepping into the cage again.
“In the conversation I had with her, if I had to say right here right now?” White said. “Again I don’t like saying right here, right now because it’s up to her. But I wouldn’t say she fights again. I think she’s probably done. She’s going to ride off into the sunset and start living her life outside of fighting.”
“She’s so competitive that her career and record meant everything to her. And then once she lost, she started to say to herself, ‘What the f**k am I doing? This is my whole life. This is it? I want to experience and start doing other things.’ And I think that’s what she started to do, and she’s got a lot of money. She’s never going to need money again.”
Rousey said before her bout with Nunes that she was probably almost finished fighting. That may have just been a clever promotional tactic to get more people interested in shelling out $60 for the PPV, but it also may have been the truth. Of course, the UFC can always use their promotional machine to turn someone else into the next giant star. They survived the rise and fall of names like Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, B.J. Penn, and Jon Jones. They will survive without Rousey too, should she truly be hanging up the gloves.