Three years ago, the idea of Ronda Rousey leaving the UFC for the WWE in the near future only seemed like a pipe dream. Yes, she appeared at WrestleMania 31 and has been a life-long wrestling fan. But Rousey was the face of UFC, and was living on Cloud Nine in the octagon.
But Rousey lost her final two UFC matches – to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, respectively. Her legacy and reputation in MMA took quite a hit, and UFC president Dana White admitted that Rousey’s career was likely over.
Next thing we know, Rousey signs a full-time contract with the WWE and appears at the 2018 Royal Rumble. Things change so quickly.
Though losing Rousey is obviously a brutal blow for White and the UFC – particularly when she crosses over to the squared circle – White had nothing but good things to say about her decision.
“I’m very happy for her. She loves pro wrestling and has always been a big fan so I know how much his means to her. She keeps accomplishing everything she’s ever wanted,” he told The Review-Journal.
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After her WWE debut, Rousey did an interview with ESPN and said White was still one of her best friends, and that he was “supportive” of her career change. Rousey also wouldn’t rule out a return to UFC.
Rousey won her first 12 professional MMA fights, with the first eight via submission from the armbar. Rousey won her first six matches in UFC, but was upset by Holm at UFC 193 – and lost the Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Her last match was at UFC 207, where she lost to Amanda Nunes.
But the WWE promises to be a great home for Rousey, who’s been a fan of the industry her whole life. She’s one of the most marketable and admired athletes out there, and should experience nothing but success in the WWE.
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