After losing back-to-back bouts for the first time in her career, it appears that former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey may be riding off into the sunset.
Rousey has not made any statement regarding the status of her career, but UFC president Dana White, during a recent UFC Unfiltered podcast, relayed that he thinks she is probably done fighting.
“Her spirits are good. She’s doing her thing,” said White. “In the conversation I had her with her, if I had to say right here right now, and I don’t like saying anything because it’s up to her, but I wouldn’t say she fights again. I think she’s probably done and she’s going to ride off into the sunset and live her life outside of fighting.”
Prior to her recent skid, Rousey had risen from a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics to an unblemished amateur career to the inaugural UFC women’s champion. As a professional fighter, she went on a 12-0 run, including six UFC title defenses, before tasting defeat.
That first defeat, however, was a devastating one. Rousey’s star had risen higher than any other fighter, male or female, in the history of mixed martial arts.
So when a Holly Holm head kick sent her crashing back to Earth in November of 2015, Rousey took it hard. She spent more than a year out of the Octagon before making her comeback attempt opposite current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 to close out 2016.
The fight with Nunes didn’t go any better. It actually went worse. Nunes ended the fight 48 seconds into the opening round.
Rousey’s perceived invincibility was erased. She has since been mostly off the radar, save for an appearance at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, where she delivered supplies in support of the protesters.
“It’s not even that I think it was an invincible thing, it’s just she’s so competitive that her career, her record, meant everything to her, and then once she lost, she started to say to herself, what the (expletive) am I doing? This is my whole life? This is it? I want to experience and start doing other things,” White said, putting Rousey’s current mood in perspective.
“And that’s what she started to do. She’s got a lot of money. She’s never gonna need money again. Unless you spend money like Floyd (Mayweather), you’re not gonna need money again when you have the kind of money that Ronda has. She’s not a big spender. She’s got a cute place down in Venice, California. She’s got some plans where I think she wants to move to a more desolate place and do her thing.”
The UFC has struggled to schedule marquee fights during the early part of 2017, primarily due to injuries and the like, so White might be expected to press Rousey to make another go of it. It sounds as if he has no such intention and is at peace with Rousey walking away, if she so chooses.
“I’m happy for her man. She came in man, she changed the world. She put female fighting on the map. She’s been part of the biggest fights in the history of women fighting.”