Ronda Rousey is officially taking her talents to the sports entertainment realm.
The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion appeared at World Wrestling Entertainment’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia on Sunday night. Rousey entered the ring following the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match, and it sounds as though she’ll be with the organization for the long haul.
"This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt," Rousey told ESPN.com. "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 would not admit that she has retired from mixed martial arts, but she did say that her focus will be on professional wrestling for the foreseeable future. The Olympic judoka hasn’t competed since suffering a 48 second technical knockout loss to Amanda Nunes in a title bout at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2016.
Rousey began her MMA career with 12 straight straight victories, establishing herself as one of the sport’s biggest stars. However, she lost much of her mystique following a second-round knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015. UFC President Dana White has said on numerous occasions that he doesn’t expect to see Rousey back in the Las Vegas-based promotion.
"I'm happy for her. This is something she has always wanted to do," White told ESPN.com. "Ronda continues to achieve everything she has ever wanted.”