Ronda Rousey’s return has been a topic of great interest from the moment Holly Holm knocked her out with a headkick back in November 2015. Now that we’re within spitting distance of the one-year mark, many are starting to wonder if she’ll ever return at all. And that’s not just rival fighters in the women’s division, or random people in the peanut gallery. It turns out the same doubts were being expressed behind the scenes by UFC brass. Here’s MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani with the latest on Ronda’s return.
It seems crazy that the UFC has been left wondering whether their biggest celebrity would ever come back to the sport. I’m sure Dana White and other higher ups have been speaking to her at least semi-regularly, and it’s troubling to know that whatever response she’d been giving had them wondering ‘if’ rather than ‘when’ on a return. There have been a lot of signs that Rousey might be sick of the fight game and ready to move on to Hollywood or motherhood or maybe just out of the spotlight entirely. Perhaps these reports weren’t as overblown as many originally assumed.
Fighting isn’t one of those things you want to commit to at less than 100%. But the pressure to return must be massive — keep in mind Ronda’s Hollywood agency is WME-IMG, the same group that just bought the UFC. But I have to admit, all the questions this raises about her passion for fighting and headspace about returning just make her eventual comeback story all the more intriguing.