MMA Fighter Ronda Rousey Ditches UFC, Makes WWE Royal Rumble Debut
Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey made her debut at WWE’s first-ever female-only Royal Rumble in Philadelphia. An announcement was made after the match that she had signed a contract and will be joining WWE full-time on Sunday night.
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“This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt,” Rousey told Espn‘s Ramona Shelburne. “When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.’”
“And I don’t think that trying to make as much money as possible every single day is the best thing for my happiness. I want to wrestle, and I want to be part of this company, and I want the people that love this sport to accept me and respect me as being part of the sport. I know that’ll take time, but I also know that I’m capable of anything.”
Rousey has always been a fan of WWE and has made several WWE event appearances borrowed her nickname “Rowdy” from legendary wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. She even appeared in the ring with The Rock and Triple H at Wrestlemania in 2015.
“It’s funny — it’s kind of like acting, in that it was something I always wanted to do but I never thought was in the cards for me. And now that I realize I really do have this opportunity, I feel like my 6-year-old self would totally kick my ass if I didn’t take it.”
Rowdy became the UFC’s first female champion in 2012 and made six defenses of the women’s bantamweight belt, all inside the distance and all but one inside the first round.
However the former Olympic medallist suffered an embarrassing knockout loss to Holly Holm in 2015.
Rousey is excited for the opportunity to take part in something athletic where the pressure is off her shoulders and focused more on her character.
“It’s cool to be in a venue where everything is not taken so literally — that you can say the things that are on your mind, that you would never say … like, ‘What do you mean, I was just in character!’ It’s freeing, because there’s not so much criticism — because people know it is all for fun, and it is entertainment,” she told ESPN.
“They’re not judging you; they’re like, ‘You’re a great heel!’ It seems like a safer place to express myself, in a weird way.”
Can’t wait to see Ronda Kick Asses on WWE!