Ronda Rousey, the former and inaugural Women’s Bantamweight Champion and one of the pioneer figures of women’s MMA, recently opened up on her much discussed exit from the sport.
Rousey, currently signed to WWE on the SmackDown brand, stormed the women’s bantamweight division from 2013 to 2015, picking up vital wins against the likes of Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Liz Carmouche.
However, Ronda’s “Rowdiness” started to decline in late 2015 when in November, she suffered her first professional defeat as well as her title against Holly Holm at UFC 193. After taking a year off from the sport, Rousey suffered another defeat against the then reigning Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December, and it was the last time the world saw her in the Octagon.
At that top level, you have to be a people pleaser: Ronda Rousey
Even though Ronda Rousey never formally announced her retirement from MMA, by 2018 it was clear that MMA fans had already seen her final performance, as she went into acting as well as professional wrestling and became a WWE superstar.
While Rousey has recently hinted at a potential comeback to the cage against former Strikeforce title challenger and actor Gina Carano, she opened up to Daniel Cormier about her walk away from MMA, saying that the 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medallist judoka was finding it difficult to continue even before walking away.
“I think it was difficult [to quit] in both judo and MMA, in that everyone else felt that they wanted more from me,” said Rousey, “Like, in judo you peak in your mid-20s. I medaled at 21 so I was going to be 25 for the next Olympics. Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, this is it! You’re going to be the first [American woman] to win an Olympic gold!’ And I didn’t want it anymore, and I couldn’t do it for everybody else. And I think that’s a mistake that I made with MMA, was when I got to that point where I didn’t want it anymore, I kept doing it for everybody else.”
“I think to be at that top level, you kind of have to be a people pleaser. You want to please your coach, you want to please your parents, you want to please everybody watching. And so it’s one of the things that makes you excel, but it’s one of those things that, it can be an obstacle a lot of times. And knowing when is the right time to walk away, it’s got to be your decision because not everybody else is going to come to a consensus. And nobody knows what you’re actually going through and what it actually takes,” she added. [H/T MMA Fighting]
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