On the Mar. 19 episode of Raw, WWE debuted an interview they conducted with Ronda Rousey which featured the former UFC bantamweight champion discussing, for the first time, the loss she suffered in her last mixed martial arts fight and the mental toll it took on her. The scene was humanizing, and the video positioned it as a setback Rousey has grown from, as a person and a performer.
That it was the first time she’d gone on record about such a major life and career event was telling. And, in pointing out how choosing WWE as the place to tell the story was smart because it allowed Ronda to control the situation, we here at Cageside Seats wondered how it would go if Rousey was questioned about Amanda Nunes knocking her out, or anything other than the many highlights of her UFC run.
While doing press with ESPN today (Mar. 27), we’re finding out. And, the results are best described as “awkward”.
Mike Golic of Golic and Wingo asked about when she knew her MMA career was over, which brought a newsworthy denial that she was done as a shoot fighter, and a misunderstanding of a follow-up question which would be hilarious if it weren’t so cringe-worthy:
Well this is painfully awkward. Ronda Rousey misunderstands question, gets annoyed. pic.twitter.com/Pt7XwVRazh— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) March 27, 2018
Rousey: “I never said that.”
Golic: “Ah so there’s a possibility you could go back in time...”
Rousey: “There’s a possibility I could go back in time?”
Golic: “Go back in time and fight. Go back in the Octagon.”
Rousey: “I do not have the ability to go back in time, no.”
And then there’s this, with Rousey getting extremely defensive when asked by Max Kellerman on First Take about media and fan reaction to her losses in the Octagon:
March 27, 2018
Now, Kellerman can be a bit... much... and First Take is pretty much where the “hot take” school of sports media really came into its own, so being defensive to Max’s “I love you, but other people think you’re a thin-skinned frontrunner” line of questioning is understandable.
But did WWE or Rousey think she wouldn’t get asked about UFC when she went on ESPN?
Maybe they should have just sent the network clips of Ronda training...