Ronda Rousey jumps from UFC to WWE


Austin Teegarden,

On Dec. 30, 2016, Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Ronda Rousey had her last fight and lost.

Before she lost her last match, fans had grown accustomed to seeing Rousey win all the time with a 14-2 record. All of her wins ended in the first round by knockout or submission with her signature armbar.

On Jan. 28, 2018, Ronda Rousey walked into a WWE ring as a wrestler.

Rousey has gone from the baddest woman on the planet as an Ultimate Fighting Champion to a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.

Rousey signed a long-term deal with WWE on Jan. 28, 2018 and is now a full-time wrestler. She will compete in a tag team match at Wrestlemania 34 on April 8. The last time we saw Rousey in WWE was as a fan at Wrestlemania 31, the biggest show of the year for WWE.

She has a lot of potential to do well in WWE, as many athletes did before, but how good can she be? Numerous wrestlers have played another sport professionally before making the transition to WWE, such as Baron Corbin, Tino Sabatelli and Roman Reigns.

After he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings, Brock Lesnar went on to pursue a career in the UFC. He had a great deal of success in the UFC, capturing the world title and holding it for almost two years from November 2008 to October 2010. After finally losing the title, he immediately went into talks with WWE and signed a massive contract to make his long-awaited return.

When Lesnar returned to the WWE, he was dubbed “the beast incarnate” because of how bigger, badder and better he became thanks to UFC. He has held the world title in WWE twice since his return, even though he only wrestles “part-time.” The term “part-time” in WWE is defined as only appearing once a month, if that, to wrestle for no more than 15 minutes.

That’s where the difference is drawn between Lesnar and Rousey. Rousey is scheduled to appear at ever Monday Night RAW leading up to her first match on April 9, according to the WWE. Lesnar is rarely on the weekly shows because he only wants to wrestle matches on Pay Per View. Monday Night RAW is the flagship show of the WWE, airing every Monday for the last 25 years on the USA Network and the addition of Rousey will bring ratings up every week.

Rousey has always had the itch to try wrestling. “It’s funny — it’s kind of like acting, in that [wrestling] was something I always wanted to but I never thought it was in the cards for me,” she said in an interview with ESPN last month, “And now that I realize I really do have the opportunity, I feel like my six-year-old self would totally kick my ass if I didn’t take it.”

Rousey was at Wrestlemania 31 nearly three years ago as a fan. After The Rock had a brief altercation with Triple H and Stephanie, he asked Rousey to come to the ring and give her a hand. Rousey looked Stephanie in the eyes and said she “owns every ring she’s in” and put Stephanie in an armbar before throwing her out of the ring.

The world got a first glimpse of what she can do in a WWE ring. We got another preview before her first match arrives next month when she suplexed Triple H, the executive vice president of WWE and former world champion, through a table on Feb. 25 at the Elimination Chamber Pay Per View. This started her first rivalry in the business and resulted in facing off against Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon. McMahon is the daughter of the creator of the WWE, Vince McMahon.

On March 5, she did a move called a “Samoan drop” where she puts her opponent on her shoulders like a firefighter would and drops on her back. Rousey later tweeted that night a picture of her executing the move, and calling it a standing reverse kata guruma which is a judo move before a wrestling move.

With Wrestlemania 34 on April 8, Rousey will start a new career as a WWE wrestler, and still carry her name as the baddest woman on the planet. The future could see Rousey winning multiple championships in the coming years or the fans can hate her, and WWE will not use her. It’s always a risk to change career paths like Rousey has done. In the end, at least she’s doing what she loves and getting paid for it too.