Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has gone into greater detail about what led her to leave MMA for professional wrestling.
Rousey is a UFC Hall of Famer who is regarded as one of the biggest superstars in UFC history. She retired following back-to-back losses to Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm but is considered by many to be one of the greatest fighters of all time.
Rousey signed with WWE for a career in professional wrestling back in 2018, debuting at WrestleMania 34, and has emerged as one of the promotion’s biggest stars. But fans and pundits have wondered why Rousey opted to walk away from the sport so abruptly while she appeared to still be in her physical prime.
Rousey’s retirement had many more layers into it than most realized, as she dealt with the chaos that comes with fame and fortune.
During a recent interview with Daniel Cormier, Rousey opened up on her retirement and what led to it.
“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.” (h/t MMA Fighting)
Rousey, who once dominated the spotlight in the sport, has been relatively quiet since her MMA retirement. She rarely does interviews now and has explained the challenges she dealt with following her infamous loss to Holm.
Rousey: Letting Go Of Needing To Be Understood The “Hardest Part”
Rousey went on to explain the personal change she felt she needed to make as she moved on to the next chapter of her life.
“You’re like a novelty on TV every couple months, whereas that’s your every day and your reality,” Rousey said. “And yeah, I think that setting boundaries with that relationship of everybody else, and not doing things for them and doing things for you, even though you won’t be understood, I think that was the hardest part — letting go of that need of feeling understood, because no one’s ever going to.”
Rousey has recently admitted that she would consider returning to MMA for one name; Gina Carano. She and Carano have teased a potential fight coming to fruition in the future.
Rousey is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters of all time and her interview with Cormier gave a rare insight into how she handled the latter part of her career in the cage.
What are your thoughts on Ronda Rousey’s comments?