What Now, “Rowdy”? – Ronda Rousey’s Future

by Michael Stevens
on March 28, 2017

The Rise of Ronda

However fans may feel about Ronda Rousey, she will forever be known as the person who single-handedly changed the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) for women. When it appeared that women would never compete on the sport’s biggest stage—the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC,) she changed minds and ended fights very rapidly.

Rousey was the lone popular name on everyone’s lips aside from “Notorious” Conor McGregor before she even made her UFC debut as women’s bantamweight champion in 2013.

Based on an article from ByTheNumbers.co, “Rousey has 12 finishes and a total career fight time, including her amateur experience,  of just 27 minutes and 11 seconds over 15 fights. Six of them were title fights (a possible total title fight time of two and a half hours.”)

Her career, before shockingly being defeated by Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm for the first time at UFC 193, is barely over the length of one championship bout.

Prior to McGregor’s defeat of José Aldo at the proceeding UFC 194 (13 seconds,) Rousey held the record for the fastest finish in UFC championship fight history with her 16-second armbar submission of “Alpha” Cat Zingano at UFC 184 in late February of 2015.

Rousey said she’d retire undefeated and honestly believed those words. She seemed untouchable and very well may have been. Still, no one is untouchable forever. Her day finally came.

Following the loss to Holm, Rousey stayed away from MMA, the media, and generally out of public from the day after the loss in mid-November 2015 until the night of the Nunes fight on December 31, 2017.

Iron Sharpens Iron

For the longest time Rousey’s unheard of dominance over the rest of the female bantamweights led to claims of a week division from some fans. Then, one fighter (Holm) and her camp figured “Rowdy’s” modus operandi: get inside, strike as needed, add a judo throw, and finish with an armbar. All the other women did was take notice.

In all the promotion for Rousey return to action at UFC 207 against Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes, the only footage of Rousey showcased her standard plan of attack and hitting mitts. Nunes showed that Rousey hadn’t changed and shocked the world in a way in which Holm didn’t—being the second person to defeat Rousey but being the person that did so the fastest at 48 seconds.

“Ronda has all the holes,” ahead of the star’s return. “In her striking, in her ground game, and even her timing. The longer the fight goes, she loses her timing…Every time she loses a position that she gets countered, through time her level drops.”

Royce Gracie was successful in the early days of the UFC not only do the absence of rules but the fact that no one competing at the time knew how to defend against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the most part.

Gracie and Rousey are exactly the same in that respect. They will forever be known as legends, but other fighters solved the puzzle and the sport of MMA passed them by. For Rousey, it appears to just be her time to go and she’s essentially admitted as much.

“I don’t want to be fighting in my 30’s,” the then 29-year-old Rousey said on Joe Rogan’s podcast previously. “By 30’s, I mean 31, 32. If you’re actually 30 years old, that’s not 30’s, that’s 30. Once you add into 31, that’s 30’s, plural.”

Rousey turned 30 on February 1, 2017 and so based on those comments would be in the last year of her career regardless. With training camps taking 8-12 weeks (two to three months) and with less than a year now until Ronda hits age 31, she might have one last fight if Nunes wasn’t it already. However, even UFC President Dana White seems to think it’s the end of this current chapter in his friend’s life.

“Her spirits are good, and she’s doing her own thing,” White said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast after the Nunes bout. “In the conversation I had with her, if I had to say right here, right now — and I don’t like saying right here, right now, because it’s up to her, it’s her thing — but I wouldn’t say she fights again. I think she’s probably done.
“I think she’s going to ride off in the sunset and start living her life outside of fighting…”

The Olympic medalist’s mother, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, has also encouraged her retirement from combat.

“I would have liked to see her retire a long time ago. Who wants to see their kid get hit? ‘Cause she’s got a lot of talent in a lot of other things. Movies, writing, producing, she’s really, really smart. I told her that at the beginning when she started this,” De Mars originally said to TMZ.

“I said you’re smart and beautiful — let the stupid people get punched in the face. Sorry stupid people.”

Moving On

A career in Hollywood seems to be the icon’s next ambition—but at her leisure. Rousey has already had roles in the films Entourage, The Expendables 3, and Furious 7 among others. Through My Father’s Eyes: The Ronda Rousey Story is an upcoming release due out later this year. Rousey also appeared in the television series Blindspot earlier in March and hopes to do more episodes in the future.

“She’s got a lot of money. She’s never going to need money again. Unless you spend money like crazy, you’re not going to need money again when you have that kind of money Ronda has, and she’s not a big spender,” White continued. “She has a cute place down in Venice, California. She’s got some plans; I think she wants to move to a desolate place and do her thing.”

The megastar has been dating fellow UFC fighter Travis “Hapa” Browne and revealed in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that she intends to have children at some point in the future.

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