LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White doesn’t want former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to return to the octagon.
Why should she, after all? According to White, the 30-year-old former MMA superstar is financially set and able to enjoy her personal life – for possibly the first time – so a return to the cage makes little sense.
Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who made six consecutive title defenses from 2013-2015, hasn’t fought since December 2016, when she suffered back-to-back title losses to Holly Holm and then Amanda Nunes. Still, the 2008 Olympic medalist, who eventually made her pro MMA debut in 2011, is still undergoing random U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug testing because she hasn’t officially closed the door on her fighting career.
“She has not retired,” White said on Tuesday. “USADA is still popping up at her house testing her, but she refuses to retire.”
According to the USADA website, though, Rousey hasn’t been tested in 2017. Still, it begs the obvious question: Why won’t she officially retire?
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know,” White said. ” … She’s not ready to say, ‘I quit.’ She’s not ready to say, ‘I’m done,’ for whatever reason. She doesn’t tick like everyone else ticks.”
With a book deal and movie roles and mainstream-media appearances and major endorsement deals, Rousey also helped the UFC garner some major pay-per-view windfalls. Despite Rousey’s two losses, which knocked her down to No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, White knows her return would still likely garner plenty of interest. However, it’s not enough for him to encourage another bout.
“I wouldn’t want to see it,” White told MMAjunkie. “I don’t want it to have to happen. I care about her, and she’s got enough money. She’s got enough money and all of that stuff. I don’t want to see it happen.”
After all, with a recent marriage to UFC heavyweight Travis Browne and the possibility of joining the WWE ranks, Rousey is getting to her personal life like she never did while training for the Olympics and going through MMA training camps.
“She’s good. She’s happy, man. She’s happy doing her thing,” White said. “If you look at Ronda Rousey, where she is now in her life, she accomplished everything she wanted to accomplish. And now she wants to have a life – like a personal life – and enjoy all the hard work she put in.
“She’s been working since she was a kid at becoming an Olympic medalist and then becoming a world champion. She’s achieved everything she’s wanted to do, she’s made a sh*tload of money, and now she actually wants to have a life.”
White stood by his stance that if it weren’t for Rousey, he likely never would have had female fighters join the UFC ranks. In that regard – to say nothing of her drawing ability – White said “Rowdy” played a pivotal role in the sport’s history.
But does Rousey realize it?
“I think at one point she did, but I think because of how it ended, she might not,” he said.