Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has named what separates fans of the MMA promotion from those of the WWE.
After a championship win and defense in the now-defunct Strikeforce organization, 2008 Olympic medal-winning judoka Rousey inherited the UFC’s 135-pound gold. From there, she went about building a reign that grew her stardom to an unprecedented level at the time.
“Rowdy” successfully defended the title six times, with only Miesha Tate escaping the first round in a championship rule that set the record for the longest title fight finish streak in UFC history.
In her final win inside the Octagon, Rousey followed the immense fanfare she had ahead of UFC 190 with a rapid 34-second knockout victory over Bethe Correia.
But just over a year later, Rousey’s time in the UFC was over following consecutive losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. Since her defeat to the Brazilian, Rousey has focused on other career ventures, one of which has seen her forge a successful tenure in professional wrestling.
And by the sounds of it, the 35-year-old Californian is enjoying more than just the action in-between the ropes.
Rousey: ‘UFC Fans Don’t Have The Same Respect
During a recent gaming stream on her YouTube channel, Rousey was asked to compare the fanbases of both the UFC and WWE.
In response, the former MMA titleholder suggested that fans of the pro-wrestling organization care more about the athletes than UFC fans do about fighters. She cited the treatment of legends from the respective promotions as evidence.
“I would say that the WWE fans care more about the wrestlers than the UFC fans care more about the fighters. UFC fans have much less respect for the veterans and legends of the sport than WWE fans do. A lot of UFC fans are kind of like, bandwagon fans in that way.”
Rousey also acknowledged a sentiment shared by a lot of former and current members of the UFC roster — that is, in the eyes of the fans, they’re only as good as their last outing.
For Rousey, it’s about respecting the pioneers of the sport, and that’s something she feels WWE fans do better.
“The second you’re not on top, you’re dead to them,” Rousey stated. “Where WWE fans are like, ‘This is the guy that did this 20 years ago,’ and are still really excited, whereas UFC fans now are like, ‘Forrest Griffin sucks.’ Uhh, you owe basically the whole sport to him. Shit like that.
“‘Anderson Silva sucks. GSP (Georges St-Pierre) sucks.’ These are people that elevated the sport and paved the way for everybody else. I don’t see UFC fans having the same respect for people that got the sport to where it is as WWE fans,” Rousey added. “I’m not saying it’s completely absent, I’m just saying I see more respect for legends in WWE fans than UFC fans. There are exceptions to everything.” (h/t Fightful)
Are you surprised by Ronda Rousey’s assessment of the UFC and WWE’s fanbases?