Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is getting ready for her first fight in the Octagon in over a year next Saturday, Dec. 30, but speculation remains focused on what she’ll do after her mixed martial arts career is over.
Her upcoming showdown at UFC 207 in Las Vegas with current champ Amanda Nunes is certainly not a lock, but whether she wins in dominating fashion or suffers her second consecutive defeat, no one would be surprised if Ronda announced she was done fighting afterwards - because even Rousey’s said her fighting days are almost over.
Shoot fighting, at least.
“Rowdy”, as she dubbed herself, in honor of one of her favorite pro wrestlers, Roddy Piper, has openly discussed crossing over to sports entertainment both before and after her crowd pleasing appearance with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at WrestleMania 31 in 2015. And especially with Conor McGregor unlikely to return WWE’s phone calls any time soon, the company brass is making sure Ronda knows the door is open for her to come work in the squared circle, any time she wants.
Stephanie McMahon told USA Today as much in an article about the “mutual admiration” between Rousey and WWE:
Our fans love Ronda. Ronda has this cross platform appeal in terms of all forms of entertainment. We would welcome her with open arms. She is the total package.
Pop culture is a huge strategy for WWE, our storylines are reflective of what's happening in the world and what's popular. In sports, it doesn't get much more popular than Ronda.
Rousey isn’t quite as hot as she was before her loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 - few things are - but she’s still a huge, interest-drawing name. Throw in Ronda’s love of pro graps, and more appearances and even a run in WWE seems more like a matter of “when” than “if”.
Steph is just making sure she knows that.