Ronda Rousey broke ground as the first female tilist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now she’s serving as something of a pioneer in the sports entertainment industry.
The WWE announced on Monday that Rousey will be part of the first-ever women’s bout to serve as the headliner for WrestleMania, the organization’s largest event each year. Rousey will defend her Raw women’s championship in a triple threat match against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch on April 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Rousey made her WWE debut at last year’s WrestleMania, where she teamed up with Kurt Angle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in mixed tag-team match. “Rowdy” drew many positive reviews for her first in-ring appearance as she ultimately forced McMahon to tap to her trademark armbar.
The 32-year-old Olympic judoka hasn’t competed in the Octagon since suffering a 48-second TKO loss against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016. Rousey, who is married to heavyweight Travis Browne, began her pro MMA career with 12 consecutive victories, capturing titles in Strikeforce and the UFC along the way. Rousey’s submission of Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 was the first women’s bout in the history of the Las Vegas-based promotion, and it cleared the way for numerous female competitors in multiple weight classes to compete in the Octagon.
“I came. I saw. I changed the game,” Rousey wrote on Twitter. “Three women are going to headline WrestleMania this year. I won’t hold my breath expecting any thank yous, but you’re all welcome anyway.”
I came. I saw. I changed the game.— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) March 25, 2019
Three women are going to headline #Wrestlemania this year.
I won’t hold my breath expecting any thank yous, but you’re all welcome anyway. #MRSwrestlemania