Ronda Rousey Not Ready to Retire from Fighting Just Yet but Focus Is on WWE

Ronda Rousey isn't ready to use the word 'retire' when talking about her fighting career but that is no longer her primary focus.

Ronda Rousey may not be retired from fighting but it doesn’t look like she’s planning a return to the UFC any time soon if ever again.

On Sunday night, Rousey officially kicked off her new career as part of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where she will be working as a full-time performer after signing a multi-year deal with the promotion.

That all but shuts the door on Rousey returning to the UFC, where she last fought in 2016 in a 48 second knockout loss to Amanda Nunes. Still, Rousey isn’t ready to use the word retirement when talking about her fighting career but she also adds that she never officially retired from the sport of judo following her last run in the Olympics either.

“That’s what everybody else seems to say. I mean I never retired from judo so if that’s what you guys want to think,” Rousey told ESPN. “All I know is that I really want to devote 100-percent of my time to wrestling right now and whatever people want to call that, they can call it.”

Despite the fact that it’s been 13 months since her loss to Nunes at UFC 207, Rousey still struggles to even broach that subject when asked about her fighting career.

“I think I’d just rather not talk about that right now,” Rousey said while fighting back the tears.

Rousey’s emotion overflowed when trying to address the losses to Nunes and Holly Holm that precipitated her exit from the UFC in the first place. The only way Rousey could explain how much it hurt was by relating that experience to what she felt after coming up short in her bid to win a gold medal in the Olympics.

“I feel like the only thing that helped me — winning the Olympics was the only thing I cared about as a kid, I devoted my whole life to it and I tried and I tried. Winning the World Championships like my mom did and I got to the finals of the World Championships and I lost. I went to two Olympics and I lost. It’s still hard to realize that your childhood dreams are not coming true,” Rousey said. “I think the only thing that really helps is finding something else to devote myself to and to be successful at. I think only was able to get past the Olympics when I started doing MMA. I do believe there’s a parallel there.

“It still hurts that I didn’t win the Olympics and it sounds ridiculous to a lot of people right? You were an Olympic medalist, you should be happy, but it would be hard to explain that to my 10 year old self that was so sure she was going to win the Olympics.”

If there was a light at the end of the tunnel for Rousey after suffering those defeats in the UFC is that it ultimately led her to a new dream job working as a professional wrestler in WWE.

Rousey is a lifelong pro wrestling fan and has long desired the chance to test her skills in the ring just like she did when transitioning to mixed martial arts after a long career spent in judo.

Now she will get that chance with her new full time job at WWE.

“Things all happen for a reason and I really do believe that,” Rousey said. “I really do believe that the worst things in life result in the best things that can happen and I think that the journey into this industry is really proving that belief is real.”

As far as possibly returning for one more fight in the UFC, Rousey just sticks to the infamous idea that you never say never when it comes to the future.

“I wouldn’t doubt myself doing anything,” Rousey said.

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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.