After her brief and puzzling appearance at UFC 205, the MMA media corps really wanted to know what was up with Ronda Rousey. Why had she stormed out of Madison Square Garden without nary a word? Why was she suddenly so unwilling to do even the smallest bit of promotional work or speak with the press?
“Ronda? Ronda’s been talking,” UFC president Dana White said at the time. “She was on Ellen. She’s doing Kimmel. She’s doing all the talk shows. Is she gonna talk to you guys? I dunno.”
It seemed like Rousey had turned on the press she felt had turned on her. After her loss to Holly Holm, there were a lot of people reassessing their opinion of the once invincible Ronda Rousey, downgrading her abilities from superhuman to mere mortal. And she didn’t seem to like that one bit. But during an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show, she gave a slightly different perspective on her new public appearance policy.
“I don’t really have to,” Ronda told Conan simply. “I’ve done a lot of learning in this last year, and I have learned that the views I get or the money I make really doesn’t mean anything for me or my happiness. Now that I know the women’s division is secure, I don’t have to do that anymore. I choose not to. It’s not really something that I get a kick out of. Like, Ooh, I went to spend 12 hours at ESPN and talk s**t all day? That’s not really what I want to do. I want to play World of Warcraft.”
This could be good for Rousey in a number of ways. After her loss to Holm, many of those same media members publicly wondered if the UFC had pushed her too hard as the face of the sport, sending her on an endless publicity tour that took her eye off the ball and left her distracted going into the cage. That won’t be an issue with this fight. We’re three weeks away from the match and this is the first we’ve heard from Ronda since her appearance on Ellen.