Will Ronda Rousey Ever Return to UFC?

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Combat sports fans know they should never say never when it comes to fighters returning to the octagon. Fans have previously seen well-known fighters such as George St-Pierre and Brock Lesnar return to the UFC after layoffs. Former Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, may not be one of those ex-UFC fight stars to return to the octagon. Fans are anticipating UFC 248 and the main event between Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero

Since January 2018, Rousey has been under contract to the WWE and captured the company’s Women’s World Championship. It was a title reign that lasted 231 days and saw Rousey become one of WWE’s biggest names. Since appearing at WrestleMania 35 in 2019, Rousey has worked on other ventures and hasn’t been inside a WWE ring in nearly one year. 

Despite her successes in the WWE and in other media, Rousey’s name constantly comes up in regards to a UFC return. Rousey’s time away from both the Octagon and the WWE ring has led to some other interests being fulfilled. 

Now 32, Rousey has stated at one time she struggled to come to grips with life away from combat sports. She left a successful six-year mixed martial arts career behind to move into uncharted waters. Rousey could have remained in the UFC and continued to fight on the company’s major cards. However, after reaching such heights, there was only one way she could go in the UFC and that was down. 

After three-plus years away from the UFC, there is now plenty of excitement surrounding a potential return at some point. Rousey’s last UFC fight was in December 2016 when she lost to Amanda Nunes in the first round. It was Rousey’s second consecutive defeat in UFC after rocketing to the top of combat and women’s sports with a 12-0 fight record. 

Rousey may not be considering a UFC return anytime soon, but she has stated she is interested in wrestling for the WWE again. After a year off from the company’s nightly grind, Rousey has indicated she would work for the promotion once more in a part-time role. WWE’s WrestleMania 36 in April could see her return to the company after a year-long hiatus from the ring. However, fans of Rousey shouldn’t hold their breath. 

The female fighter is in rare air when it comes to the UFC. She occupies a segment of MMA that few modern fighters reach. Conor McGregor is really the only other fighter to have the same weight in the sports world as Rousey. Although top fighters such as Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov are recognized for their skills in the octagon, they do not have the mainstream appeal of McGregor nor Rousey. It is that mainstream appeal and casual fan that Rousey attracts. Her name alone would bring plenty of interest to UFC from media and viewers who are not regular watchers. 

In mid-February, Rousey debuted her first Facebook Gaming stream episode. Rousey’s work with the social media giant as an entertainer continues to take her into other realms. As an ex-UFC fighter, she has gone into areas no other combat sports star has previously and succeeded. Due to her success outside of MMA, it is doubtful she will be back anytime soon.

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