Ronda Rousey. That name alone is synonymous with women's pioneers in sports. Since breaking into the limelight as a Judo competitor at the 2008 Olympics, Rousey has been at the forefront of women's combat sports.
She was a the main attraction in the first-ever UFC women's main event fight and parlayed the great success she achieved for the top MMA organization to a highly successful stint in WWE that culminated with being the first women's main event match at WrestleMania with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Following her defeat, Rousey has decided to take some time off to focus on starting a family with a husband and UFC Heavyweight fighter Travis Browne and heal from recent surgery on her hand. She did find the time to recently sit down with UFC Megan Olivi to talk about her time with the WWE.
Initially, Rousey did not expect to fall in love with the world of professional wrestling, but it happened.
"We were planning on having a kid (her and husband Travis Browne) but there was a bucket list of things we wanted to do before having a kid. And I always thought it would be cool to do something with WWE," Rousey explained. "I don't have much time to be great at it, but I can do something for a few months. Little did I know it completely snowballed within a year. It's like not knowing how to swim and winning the Olympics in swimming the next year. It was completely thrown in the deep end immersion."
The one aspect Rousey fell in love with was the comradery in the locker room and with the staff.
"But I completely fell in love with it and every single person there. I feel like I really found a whole lot of lifelong friends that I didn't even see coming," Rousey admitted. "It was something I thought would be a small detour, but it became my whole life for a year.
"They say no one really retires but we will see. I'm trying to do the baby thing now so we will play it by ear. I do miss a lot of little things about it. Like me and the girls would have rituals we would do throughout the day, small comforts. Like saying good luck, good job. It's fun watching and I miss them. But, happy to be resting, healing up."
Although Rousey made many friends in the world of professional wrestling, she made clear that she and former boss, UFC President Dana White, have a strong bond outside of employer and employee.
"Dana White is always going to be one of my best friends, I love him so much." Rousey exclaimed, "As I will never forget that he believed in me when no one else did. His belief in me changed my life. And we have a lot of history, but I feel like he is someone I can relate to, he understands my viewpoint a lot and I can kind of vent to him and get his point of view on things. Because a lot of people may not understand the situations I'm in. I get excited just for his little success, just like he does for mine. He has been a great friend. Not just as a boss. We have transitioned from that boss/employee relationship to afterward it has just gone on to prove that we are bonded together by more than just UFC."
In any profession, nerves are apart of it but for the 'baddest woman on the planet,' there was a difference in nerves between fighting and pro wrestling.
"Yes (there were nerves), but I mean after fighting it's like I feel like I get to enjoy wrestling more than everyone else because I'm maxed out on pressure," explained Rousey. "The kind of moments like this past WrestleMania. That main event, that pressure, that moment was the craziest, high-stakes moment Becky and Charlotte have ever been in their lives and I was like I love WrestleMania, have a great day, have a great match, see ya' guys, first-ever women's main event at WrestleMania. They are like 'Oh my god I want to do a good job' and I'm like 'Joan Jett is here?' That's awesome."
You can listen to the full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit UFC with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.