UFC Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey has suggested she’d be willing to fight again, but only for one specific matchup.
“Rowdy” hasn’t competed in MMA since losing to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in 2016. The 35-year-old has recently enjoyed considerable success as a professional wrestler and is currently the WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion.
It’s no surprise that the former UFC bantamweight queen still gets questions about a return to the cage, and on a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show, Rousey claimed she’d only return for a fight with women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano.
“I mean, I’ve said it a million times,” Rousey answered when asked about fighting again. “It’s not like it’s something new, but, for Gina, man. Gina Carano, she’s the reason why I got into fighting, she’s the reason why I knew it was a possibility. I will always be forever grateful…and if she ever was like, ‘Ronda, I wanna fight you tomorrow at 205 pounds,’ like whatever the hell she’d want – I’m not saying she’s 205 pounds – if she wanted to come into my backyard and do the Rocky thing or, you know, ding, ding and we just do it in the backyard, I don’t care.” (via postwrestling.com)
Gina Carano hasn’t fought since losing to Cris Cyborg in a bout for the Strikeforce women’s featherweight title in 2009. That fight was the only loss of her career, and Carano is widely considered to be the first true star of women’s MMA. The 40-year-old has moved on to have a successful career as an actress in her post-fighting life.
Rousey was known for being an intense competitor during her reign as UFC champion, but she says her desire for a matchup with Carano is purely out of respect.
“I will fight Gina wherever she wants and if she doesn’t want to forever, leave [that there].
“It’s a respect thing, not like a, ‘F*ck you. I’m not coming to get you.’ It’s just like hey, if you ever wanna pull that card out, it’s there. I love her. Thank you, Gina, for everything you’ve done.”
Ronda Rousey was crowned the UFC’s inaugural women’s bantamweight champion in 2013 following the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce. She successfully defended her title 6 times before losing to Holly Holm in 2015. She returned to face Amanda Nunes the following year, but was stopped in under a minute.
“Rowdy” was instrumental in opening the door for women’s divisions in the UFC and was one of the biggest stars in the promotion’s history.
What do you think of Rousey’s claim that she’d only return to MMA to fight Gina Carano?