Dana White: There is nothing ‘sad’ about Ronda Rousey’s exit from the UFC

By all accounts, Ronda Rousey’s career with the UFC is more than likely over.

After storming onto the scene and becoming a household name through her performances inside the Octagon, Rousey fell onto harder times with her past two fights that both resulted in knockout losses.

Following her last bout against Amanda Nunes in Dec. 2016, Rousey largely disappeared from the mixed martial arts spotlight and instead put her focus on an acting career where she’s made appearances in shows such as “Blindspot” on NBC as well as booking a gig on the ABC series “Battle of the Network Stars”.

While Rousey has never officially retired from the sport, UFC president Dana White has long speculated that he doesn’t expect her to return but he doesn’t see why her legacy is anything less than legendary regardless of how she left the sport.

“Ronda Rousey is anything but a sad story,” White told ESPN recently. “She made a ton of money. A woman who basically told everybody ‘I made no money in the Olympics, I was living in my car’. Now she made enough money so she never has to work a day again in her life.

“That’s anything but sad.”

Of course following her last fight, Rousey has largely shunned any appearances that have anything to do with mixed martial arts and she hasn’t shown up at any UFC cards since her defeat to Nunes in 2016.

Even with her fiancé Travis Browne competing in recent fights, Rousey is nowhere to be found and during her first interview since the loss while she was promoting “Battle of the Network Stars”, the UFC wasn’t even approached as a topic of conversation.

While it might seem strange that Rousey has just fallen off the radar when it comes to fighting, White says that’s not a knock on the sport or her passion for the UFC.

Instead, White argues that Rousey’s own competitive nature was so fierce that it’s led to her exodus from the sport all together.

“That’s not because she had to, that’s the way Ronda Rousey is built,” White said. “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 was the catalyst that made White decide to add women to the UFC roster after he saw her performances in Strikeforce.

Now the UFC promotes two different women’s divisions with a third being added when the new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” debuts in August with the flyweights officially joining the roster.

“What’s sad about the Ronda Rousey story? A woman in sports, let alone fighting, came in and made way more money than all the men,” White said. “Blew the thing up, created an actual division for women. Joanna Jedrzejczyk now makes a ton of money. Amanda [Nunes] makes a ton of money.

“Now we’re literally five blocks down the street doing the 125 pound division for “The Ultimate Fighter” for women.”

All signs point to Rousey’s career being finished but her influence will likely be felt from now until forever in the UFC.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.

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