Ronda Rousey says headlining WrestleMania 35 was a big moment for her, but her UFC debut was bigger.
The UFC Hall of Famer spent a year with WWE, during which she became Raw Women's Champion. She also helped create history, having played part in the first women's match to headline a WrestleMania event.
Ronda, who's taken a step back from wrestling to start a family with her husband, having also broken her hand at WrestleMania, spoke to UFC broadcaster and television host Megan Olivi in a full-length interview set to release on multiple platforms this week, describing her experience following her transition from MMA to wrestling.
"When I first came I was planning on doing it a couple months but my one request when we first started is that I wanted to finish my storyline with Stephanie," Rousey explains in a preview clip released by Olivi as part of a UFC promotion on ESPN+ (transcribed by Wrestlezone.com).
"I love Stephanie and all of the girls so much but I had to keep it a secret that I hated them. Triple H showed me how to lace up my boots. It was so fun for me. It felt big to headline WrestleMania. Me and Liz Carmouche felt bigger though. Everything felt like it had to happen that way or women’s MMA would have ended before it started."
Rousey also claimed that working for WWE is way more stressful than fighting for UFC, despite the latter being significantly more brutal.
"It's physical in a different way," she said. "The stress is much more. I can get in a random fight and I will beat them up but the training, the press, thinking about is the real wear and tear. I can give myself a month after a fight to recover and with WWE its a nonstop grind. Everyone else does it all year round and their minds get no rest. The only thing that compares to the mental strain of UFC is the Olympics."
What This Means
Headlining WrestleMania is no small feat; headlining WrestleMania as a woman was unheard of prior to April's event.
Many would have thought that it would have been the biggest moment of Ronda's professional life, but her first UFC fight is what stands out for her, and why not? There's probably no Rowdy Ronda Rousey or WrestleMania absent that fight with Carmouche.