Former UFC star Ronda Rousey doesn’t feel a need to return to the sport.
She doesn’t think she has anything left to prove.
“It’s hard when everyone around you, the value they have for you is how you fight, and how they see you is how you fight, and the only thing they think you have to offer is how you fight,” Rousey said in rare comments about her MMA career posted on her YouTube channel this week. “It was actually my husband that taught me I’m so much more than just a fighter. I don’t have to fight myself into the ground to prove that I’m the greatest of all time when I already know that I am.”
The conversation was part of a lengthy interview with stuntman and comedian Steve-O.
Rousey, 32, last fought in a knockout loss to Amanda Nunes in December 2016. She spent a year in World Wrestling Entertainment, but has stepped away from the limelight to focus on starting a family.
After winning her first 12 UFC fights in dominating fashion, the former Olympic silver medalist faded away from the sport.
Rousey still casually follows the action but is rarely seen at any UFC events. She said she’s asked every day when she plans to return to competition.
“Something I really had to deal with stepping away from the UFC was finding my identity without it, because I got so lost in it,” said Rousey, adding that she is secure with her role in helping build opportunities for female fighters.
“I wasn’t single-handed at all. Gina Carano is like God to me. I love her. She’s the reason I did it. But we’re all just torchbearers in the relay. When I watch these girls, I’m just like a proud mom.”
Rousey said she even came to terms with missing out on her long-stated goal of getting out of the sport unscathed, largely thanks to the lessons she learned from the world of pro wrestling.
“If I would have retired undefeated and just left all those girls there, they wouldn’t have had any credibility because I didn’t give them any,” she said. “The way everything ended up was the best it could have been for the division because they got to take my credibility and run with it instead of letting me run away with it. That might have been what I wanted selfishly, but what I wanted most was for the division and sport to succeed. So what happened was what needed to happen. It took me taking my identity away from just being a fighter to realize it.”
Welterweight title bout
UFC president Dana White revealed plans to book a welterweight title bout in Las Vegas this summer.
White said on “The Jim Rome Show” at the Super Bowl on Friday in Miami that he expects Kamaru Usman to defend the belt against Jorge Masvidal during the International Fight Week card at T-Mobile Arena. The card probably will take place July 11.
Usman and Masvidal were captured on video exchanging words as they separately toured radio row at the Super Bowl this week.
“We’re going to bring them to Vegas,” White said. “(Masvidal) and Usman will fight in Vegas probably International Fight Week. If (Masvidal) wins, maybe we’ll do his first title defense down here in Miami.
“That was always the plan, and then whatever happened with them a couple of days ago, whenever that was. We hadn’t announced it yet, but now, this has forced me to announce it.”
Two fighters sanctioned
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday that Diego Sanchez and Ovince Saint Preux each accepted three-month suspensions for violations of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy as a result of tainted supplements.
According to USADA, both fighters proved that their positive tests were the result of contaminated products, and the levels of prohibited substance would not have been considered performance-enhancing.
Sanchez’s suspension is retroactive to the date of the failed test in October, which allows him to remain on the UFC Fight Night 167 card Feb. 15 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where he will meet Michel Pereira in a welterweight bout.
Feb. 8: UFC 247 (ESPN Plus), Houston
Feb. 15: UFC Fight Night 167 (ESPN Plus), Rio Rancho, N.M.
Feb. 21: Bellator 239 (DAZN), Thackerville, Okla.
Feb. 23: UFC Fight Night 168 (ESPN Plus), Auckland, New Zealand