Ronda Rousey’s feet are firmly planted in the world of professional wrestling right now, but she’s stopping short of completely ruling out a return to cagefighting.
The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion made the move to the WWE this past January and has begun to appear regularly on their weekly Monday Night Raw program. In an interview with ESPN on Tuesday, Rousey was asked when she knew she was done with MMA, a question that she shut down without much elaboration.
“I never said that,” Rousey said.
Host Mike Golic’s question was presumably in relation to Rousey’s appearance on The Ellen Show, in which she said it was just as likely that she’d compete in judo again that she would MMA.
When Golic tried to follow-up, asking if there was a possibility that Rousey “could go back in time” to compete in MMA again, Rousey did not seem interested in indulging him.
“‘There’s a possibility that I could go back in time?’ That’s your question to me?” Rousey replied. “I do not have the ability to go back in time, no.”
Asked flatly if she would fight again, Rousey’s answer was “I don’t know.”
Rousey did open up about how professional wrestling training compared to preparing for a UFC fight, explaining how the performance aspect of the WWE differs from the unscripted competition in the Octagon.
“It’s a lot different, it’s much more grueling in that I don’t really have to think about peaking my body as much,” Rousey said. “It’s more about my performance, that matters more than anything else so I can be a lot rougher on my body than I would be able to during a fight camp.”
While Rousey was one of the UFC’s biggest stars and most consistent box office draws during her time with the promotion, there were no guarantees that the WWE fanbase would embrace her with open arms. Being a lifelong fan herself — her “Rowdy” nickname is an homage to professional wrestling legend Roddy Piper — Rousey understands the responsibility she has being thrust into the spotlight with the WWE’s annual mega event WrestleMania just around the corner.
“I definitely have a lot to prove,” Rousey said. “This business is so important to so many people and they had every reason to be suspicious of me just coming in for a cash grab or some attention or whatever, which is not the case.
“But it will only take time and being consistent and showing people that I’m putting in the hard work everyday for them to be able to entrust me with something they care so much about.”
Rousey was also asked how Floyd Mayweather might fare should he make the jump from boxing to MMA and she was blunt in her assessment.
“Yeah, that’ll never happen,” Rousey said. “It’ll never happen. It’s all talk.”
She continued: “Different strokes for different folks, but I don’t think he’d do well in MMA at all.”
Watch Rousey’s full interview with Golic and Trey Wingo below: