Freelance: 8 Reasons Why Ronda Rousey Will Fight Again in 2017
Regardless of what others may say, Ronda Rousey will not only go down as a women’s MMA pioneer, but one of the best to ever compete. When she was beaten at UFC 193 in November of 2015, the MMA world asked itself if it would ever see Rousey again.
We are asking that question again a little less than two years later and some fans still believe: Yes. Find out why below.
8. She’s Always Rebounded
Rousey’s story is a story of adversity. She grew up a swimmer—the favorite pastime she shared with her father, Ron Rousey. When Ron shockingly committed suicide after injuring his back on a family trip, “Rowdy” eventually found the world of judo. Rousey became a world champion.
When she then failed to bring home an Olympic gold medal (she won bronze) she turned to MMA and became the first women’s world champion in the UFC. Even with to back-to-back losses as she nears the end of her career, why should her pattern be any different?
7. The World Doesn’t Think She Will Fight Again
This might not be true for all world champions, but the doubt of others is great fuel, great motivation to accomplish goals. Rousey used to be a waitress/bartender and when she said that one day she would be a world champion MMA, of course people laughed. They stopped laughing when she made six successful world title defenses.
Rousey will always have her detractors, the people that built her up only to send her crashing back down to Earth. Still, one more fight is one more chance to get her hand raised in victory—and then put a middle finger up in the air as she walks away.
6. She Doesn’t Give a D**** ‘Bout Her Reputation
Rousey is at a level of status and wealth that allows her to do pretty much whatever her heart desires. If she wants to fight once more, she’s going to do it. She owes MMA nothing anymore. If she has anything left to prove, it’s truly to herself alone. Only time will tell, but she doesn’t have a lot left.
5. She Must Show She’s Evolved
If Rousey is going to compete one last time (almost one-third of 2017 is already gone with a full training camp taking around three months) something has to change when it comes to her team. She is fiercely loyal, but even her own mother (Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, the first American to win a gold medal at the World Judo Championships) despises Rousey’s head coach, Edmond Tarverdyan.
The 30-year-old Rousey has mentioned previously that she wants to be done with the sport of MMA by the age of 31. With that in mind and with so little time left in 2017 (including the training camp, expect a fight to be booked somewhere within the last three to four months of the year if it happens at all) it seems highly unlikely that Rousey would change head coaches or teams on her way out of the sport.
However, if she is not going to change camps, she must get as good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to become as well-rounded she can with the time she has. More importantly, she must show how she has transformed as a person. Following the Holly Holm loss, she essentially went into hiding for over a year. When she was beaten by Amanda Nunes, she at least released a statement a day or so later regarding her future.
During the build-up to the Nunes bout Rousey did an interview on Ellen discussing how being defeated is a state of mind and that would not be hers. Even if she loses again, she would show her evolution by staying around to get on a mic, face the fans, and bid them all a farewell.
4. There’s Money to be Made
UFC President Dana White once said that, following a brutal loss, he didn’t want to make any more money off of B.J. Penn’s fights. Penn fought Yair Rodriguez in January after and is set to face Dennis Siver in late June.
Even if White thinks Rousey’s done (which he does) and Ronda doesn’t need the money (which she doesn’t) she will still be the top name on any given pay-per-view. With her possible next one being her last, she won’t have stayed around in the sport too long, changing into a journeywoman reflecting on her glory days.
Again, the point is this: The money isn’t needed, but she will always be the name people pay to see. Whether it’s to see her kick butt or get her but kicked—love her or hate her—you’ll still pay to see what happens.
3. A Win is a Gateway to the WWE
Don’t expect Rousey to become a full-fledged WWE Superstar, but she has already appeared for the company in a celebrity role at WrestleMania 31 and has always been a fan of professional wrestling. If she were to have a part-time role, she could very possibly breeze through the NXT developmental system given her legitimate background.
C’mon WWE, if you’re going to rush Eva Marie—just another model that used WWE as a platform on her way to pursuing other ventures—why not promote an actual athlete and women’s empowerment?
Even after her second loss, Rousey is still being viewed as a perfect fit by WWE executive, Stephanie McMahon.
A win to finish her UFC career isn’t mandatory (WWE could gloss over Rousey’s losses like they did with WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar’s failed UFC 200 drug tests and the ensuing lawsuit) but a victory in her grand finale could provide WWE with some highlight footage that isn’t as old as pre-UFC 193 and remind the world that she can still dominate her opposition for real if she wanted to.
2. Her Impact on Women
Rousey is already a role model to so many women but coming back to the UFC even after crushing defeats sends a very clear message to so many more: Never stay down.
1. She Can’t Let Her Career End in Defeat
As reiterated multiple times, this all revolves around a question of personal drive and Rousey said it best herself when speaking with espnW:
"I want to be able to walk away with my head held high," Rousey says. "It's like a painter looking at what he made and knowing it's not done yet. You could get away with it. You could sell that painting and it would sell. But you'll always know it was never as good as it could have been. I don't want 'Good enough' to be my legacy."