LAS VEGAS — Ronda Rousey has never formally retired and is still a part of the testing pool for active UFC fighters. Even though she hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2016, and has shown no interest in fighting again, Rousey dutifully records her whereabouts for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and is tested regularly.
Rousey, the one-time UFC women’s bantamweight champion who became the biggest star in the sport by winning her fights in record time, is unlikely to fight again. And there is one fairly important figure who hopes that she never gets the itch to give it one last shot. UFC president Dana White, who said he still speaks to Rousey regularly, said he hopes she stays on the sidelines.
“I wouldn’t want to see it,” White said of one last Rousey fight. “I don’t want that to happen. I care about her. She’s got enough money. She’s got enough money and all that stuff. I don’t want to see it happen. It’s like with [ex-UFC light heavyweight champion] Chuck Liddell. I was hearing that Chuck was talking about fighting again. I hope that’s not true.”
White said Rousey has never brought up the topic of another fight since she lost to Nunes, her second consecutive loss by knockout after opening her career with 12 dominant wins.
He said she worked extraordinarily hard, building up not only herself but the women’s division. He said Rousey, who married UFC heavyweight Travis Browne in Hawaii on Aug. 26, is able to relax now and enjoy her success.
“She’s super happy,” White said of Rousey, who hasn’t spoken to MMA media since before her loss to Holly Holm in 2015. “She’s traveling. She’s hanging out, just doing her thing, you know? Imagine never having a personal life, and then you get one.”
Though she’s shown no interest in fighting again, she hasn’t closed the door on that chapter of her life. White said he isn’t sure why.
But Rousey was a ferocious competitor and it could be that she can’t come to terms with how it ended so quickly for her after so much success.
“She’s not ready to say, ‘I quit,’ ” White said. “She’s not ready to say, ‘I’m done,’ for whatever reason. She doesn’t tick like everyone else ticks. We found that out throughout the years. Whatever reason she has for not retiring, I agree [it can’t be fun to keep being tested]. She’s got this awesome personal life. She’s super happy and why put up with that aggravation anymore? Just announce it and the USADA stuff stops.”
That, though, isn’t Rousey, and though she probably won’t fight again, she hasn’t taken the steps necessary to make that a formality.
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