UFC Fans Shouldn’t Forget How Dominant Rousey Once Was
Instead of making the walk to an octagon to square off with her opponents, Ronda Rousey will now be walking to the ring. No, she’s not following in the footsteps of Conor McGregor and competing in boxing.
The former UFC bantamweight champion has signed with WWE and even made a surprise appearance on Sunday’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.
“I’m so happy I don’t even have words for it.” Rousey told ESPN.com after the event. The interview in its entirety can be seen below via the YouTube page of ESPN.
How did a fighter who just over two years ago, was one of the most dominating fighters in the sport’s history, go from competing in the octagon, to stepping into a ring where the outcome is already determined?
Rousey’s (12-2) last MMA fight was at UFC 207 December 30, 2016 where she lost via TKO 48-seconds into the fight against champion Amanda Nunes. It was the second consecutive loss for Rousey, who started her career 12-0.
In Rousey’s first six fights outside the UFC, she finished all six of her opponents via first round armbar submission. The UFC created a woman’s bantamweight division in 2013, with Rousey as the champion.
After kicking off her UFC career with two armbar submission victories, she then started showing off striking skills. With 1:06 seconds into the first round, Rousey sent Sara McMann to the ground with a knee to the body. Rousey’s next fight was against Alexis Davis, with Rousey getting the quickest victory of her career. Rousey threw Davis down to the ground and finished her with punches only 16-seconds into the fight.
Rousey, 30, followed up the quick finish with an even quicker one, submitting Cat Zingano just 14-seconds into the fight. Bethe Correia was the next to challenge Rousey, but was also unsuccessful. Rousey knocked Correia out 34-seconds into the fight. Below is the video of her getting UFC gold wrapped around her waste for what appears to be the last time via the UFC YouTube page.
Rousey was one of the biggest stars not just in the organization, but in the world. She was being compared to being as dominate as Mike Tyson. She was in movies, on talk shows and in other forms of entertainment. Debates on whether or not she could beat Floyd Mayweather in a street fight arose.
But all that changed in November 2015 when Holly Holm, a multiple time boxing champion, was the first to defeat Rousey. Holm dominated Rousey throughout the first round before knocking her out in the second round with a headkick.
Rousey went into hiding. She stayed out of the public eye for nearly a year before agreeing to fight the new champion, Nunes.
Rousey hasn’t commented much since then on her career. She hasn’t been at any UFC events and Dana White had said he didn’t believe she would fight again.
The path looks pretty clear she will be making a living in the WWE. She had a great UFC career, but like most fighters, she didn’t end up on top. Chuck Liddell lost five of his last six fights in the UFC. Anderson Silva only has one win in his last six fights and is being investigated for having banned substances in his system.
That’s the fight game. Unfortunately, most of the fighters go out on a loss. Now, she can be a superstar for the WWE and bring notoriety to the women’s division, much like she did for the UFC.
One of the coolest moments was seeing Rousey’s husband Travis Browne watching the event from their house with his kids.
— Travis Browne (@travisbrowneMMA) January 29, 2018
Rousey’s nickname, “Rowdy”, is a tribute to late WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. When Rousey entered the ring, she had a face-off with the Royal Rumble winner Asuka, Smackdown women’s champion Charlotte Flair and Raw women’s champion Alex Bliss. She pointed to the big-screen where it read “Wrestlemania”, where it appears she will wrestle for the first time.