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Rousey: I wasn’t sure if the women’s division could survive without me

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In a recent interview, Ronda Rousey discusses looking for an “honorable way out” of the UFC, and her newfound priority to enjoy her life.

With Wrestlemania 34 just a week-and-a-half away, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is the talk of the town once again, but not for the usual reasons. During her WWE-organized press tour this week, Rousey had some tense moments with media personalities Max Kellerman and Mike Golic when asked about her MMA career, specifically her losses and subsequent retirement from the sport.

This is well-known behavior from the 31-year-old California native, as Rousey has refused to talk about her last two fights, back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, even imposing a media blackout in the leadup to her fight with Nunes. Following that devastating loss, Rousey released this statement via ESPN:

”I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me.

”Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.

”I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”

In an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto earlier today, Rousey opened up about her decision to walk away from MMA, stating that she was looking for an “honorable way out” and that her priority moving forward is to enjoy herself.

”I’m only here to enjoy myself. That’s the only thing that’s never been a priority in my life,” Rousey said.

”In judo and MMA, there were times when the process was fun and the results were fun. And there’s a time when things run their course. You fall in love, you fall out of love and you find a new love.

”There was a while when I was just looking for an honorable way out [of the UFC]. I felt satisfied that I’d proven everything I need to prove, but I didn’t feel anybody else felt that way, and I wasn’t sure if the women’s division could survive without me. I felt obligated to do more than what I actually wanted to. But I also have no regrets, and I’m so happy I fulfilled those obligations. And I really feel the women’s division can hold their own.”

Rousey will be featured in a mixed tag team match with fellow Olympic medalist Kurt Angle as her partner vs. Triple H and his wife, Stephanie McMahon at Wrestlemania 34. The event takes place April 8th and will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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