After months of speculation, UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has finally jumped ship to the WWE.
The 30-year-old confirmed the deal last night after making a brief appearance at the end of the WWE’s Royal Rumble event to a rapturous reception from the 17,000 fans in attendance, who chanted “Holy sh*t!” as she walked to the ring while Joanna Jet’s ‘Bad Reputation’ blared out of the sound system.
Rousey had recently been rumored to be a participant at the event, but she didn’t make her grand entrance until it was all said and done, getting into the ring to mingle with WWE champions Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss along with Royal Rumble winner Asuka, before pointing towards a sign for the upcoming Wrestlemania event.
“This is my life now,” Rousey told ESPN immediately after the show. “First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt,” Rousey said. “When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.’”
Rousey declined to discuss her losses in the UFC, but also refused to say that she was retired from the sport, though that doesn’t neccessarily mean a whole lot considering that she also never officially called time on her other sporting endeavours either.
“That’s what everybody else seems to say,” Rousey said of the talk that she was retired from MMA. “I mean I never retired from judo, so if that’s what you guys want to think. All I know is I really want to devote 100 percent of my time to wrestling right now and whatever people want to call it, they can call it.”
After two brutal losses in a row against Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, even Rousey’s staunchest supporter, UFC president Dana White had felt comfortable saying some time ago that the former strawweight queen would never fight in the Octagon again, and last night he gave her his blessing to make a new start in pro-wrestling.
“I’m happy for her,” Dana White told ESPN after Rousey’s big reveal. “This is something she has always wanted to do. Ronda continues to achieve everything she has ever wanted.”
The rumors now are that Rousey could go on to star in a tag-team match with The Rock against Triple-H and Stephanie McMahon, whom she previously confronted during Wrestlemania 31 in 2015 when she was still at the peak of her fame in the UFC.