Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has revealed that it was more than just a loss to Amanda Nunes back in 2016 that forced her to make a way out of the UFC and pursue professional wrestling.
Rousey, a UFC Hall of Famer, is regarded as one of the greatest female fighters. During her prime, the Cali-born fighter was untouchable with many combat experts going far to the length that she would easily beat an average male fighter in the octagon.
But in 2015, Rousey’s time at the top finally met its end when the former boxing World champion, Holly Holm notched up an infamous win over the ‘Rowdy’ via a second-round KO at UFC 193.
That loss had shaken Rousey to the core, and it was also apparent in her next octagon outing as well.
During a recent interview with Daniel Cormier, Rousey shared the inner details of what led her to leave MMA and what she could have done better when she was dominating the combat scene.
“I think it was difficult [to quit] in both judo and MMA, in that everyone else felt that they wanted more from me,” Rousey explained.
“Like, in judo you peak in your mid-20s. I medaled at 21 so I was going to be 25 for the next Olympics. Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, this is it! You’re going to be the first [American woman] to win an Olympic gold!’ And I didn’t want it anymore, and I couldn’t do it for everybody else.
“And I think that’s a mistake that I made with MMA, was when I got to that point where I didn’t want it anymore, I kept doing it for everybody else.”
Following back-to-back losses to Holm and Nunes, Rousey decided to call it on her MMA career. The decision came as a surprise for many as she appeared to still be in her physical prime.
Rousey did manage to secure a blockbuster deal with WWE back in 2018, debuting at WrestleMania 34. Rousey was quick to find her feet in professional wrestling and has become the face of the company ever since.
But all is not lost as Rousey recently indicated that she would consider returning to MMA for just one name: Gina Carano.
Carano hasn’t fought in a competitive bout for almost 13 years now, but she hasn’t denied the possibility of the two meeting in the center of the octagon in the future.