Ronda Rousey 'Probably' Will Retire, No Talks on Next Fight, Per Dana White

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 31, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 30:  Ronda Rousey prepares to face Amanda Nunes in their UFC bantmaweight championship bout during the UFC 207 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is "probably going to retire" from mixed martial arts, according to organisation president Dana White.

Speaking to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto, White explained that while "Rowdy" remained a part of the UFC's anti-doping programme, she has no fight plans and will likely step away from the sport before returning:

"I think people realize she's probably going to retire."

"That's not because she had to, that's the way Ronda Rousey is built. Ronda Rousey is super competitive and doesn't like to lose. I know she's been criticized for that by a lot of people, but that's just who she is and the way she is.

"And the way she is, is what made everybody get behind her. It's what blew up the women's divisions. Now she's going to move on to the next chapter of her life, get married and have kids, do that thing. It's not sad, it's the way she wanted it."

Rousey's place in the sport is in serious doubt after she suffered back-to-back defeats against Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in November 2015 and December 2016, respectively, having yet to make her return since.

As Okamoto put it, the former poster girl for women's mixed martial arts could be "so ashamed of her last two fights" that she takes her leave of the Octagon for good, at the age of just 30.

The landscape of women's MMA has transformed massively in Rousey's absence, with Amanda Nunes the current bantamweight champion, while long-term rival Cris "Cyborg" Justino won the vacant featherweight title at UFC 214 on Saturday.

Following Cyborg's third-round stoppage of Tonya Evinger in Anaheim, California, MMA Junkie's Chamatkar Sandhu questioned whether Rousey could squeeze her way back into the featherweight division for a final send-off:

Chamatkar Sandhu @SandhuMMA

Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm next? Or how about one more for the road and one more big pay day for Ronda Rousey? Dare we dream. #UFC214

Aside from any concerns over her mental state and motivation to compete, Rousey's trouble is that her last two results and only career losses were so one-sided and so convincing that she could struggle to drum up her old levels of interest.

The Sun's Gary Stonehouse recently reported World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) were willing to offer Rousey a deal to star at Wrestlemania 34 in 2018, and company figurehead Triple H recently fuelled that speculation:

Triple H @TripleH

The #MaeYoungClassic will celebrate and showcase female competitors from around the world. Great to have @RondaRousey join us tonight. https://t.co/dQy9C1qFbH

White went on to admit that, even were Rousey to show interest in a comeback, he would hold reservations:

"I don't know. I don't know if I'd want her to. The way she came in, the way everything went -- it was perfect.

"I've never been one of those promoters that looks at, 'Oh, imagine how much money I can make if Ronda Rousey comes back' or the Chuck Liddells, all those guys. I'm actually the guy who, when somebody even hints at retiring, says, 'I think you should retire.'

"No matter how big of a star you are, once you've retired, you should probably stay retired and move on, build that next chapter of your life."

Rousey has already stepped onto screen in films The Expendables 3Furious 7 and Entourage, as well as several television shows, suggesting her mind is not focused on a return to fighting as things stand.

A distracted fighter is a dangerous prospect considering what's at risk in combat sport, and if White's assessment of Rousey's direction proves true, she could make the low-profile exit from MMA she desires.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.