Former UFC women's bantamweight champion and pioneer Ronda Rousey made her debut for World Wrestling Entertainment Sunday in Philadelphia shortly after the first-ever women's-only Royal Rumble match concluded.
Rousey, who last fought inside the Octagon at UFC 207 in December 2016, stood in the WWE ring and pointed to Wrestlemania sign hanging in the arena. "Rowdy" spoke to ESPN.com about her transition to professional wrestling from mixed martial arts.
"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 said in an interview with ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "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.'"
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The rumors have been swirling for months that Rousey was preparing to take her talents to the WWE. The impact she had on the sport of MMA is unquestionable. Her six title defenses are the most by a woman in UFC history and she was the single reason UFC president Dana White decided to open a women's division in the UFC.
Rousey didn't close the door on a return to the UFC down the road, but right now she's giving 100 percent of her time and focus to pro wrestling.
"It's funny -- it's kind of like acting, in that it was something I always wanted to do but I never thought was in the cards for me," Rousey said. "And now that I realize I really do have this opportunity, I feel like my 6-year-old self would totally kick my ass if I didn't take it."