Ronda Rousey has moved on from MMA, but one big name would bring her back if the stars were to align.
The former UFC bantamweight champion and current WWE Superstar recently appeared on The Kurt Angle Show where she was asked if she would ever fight again and if so, what opponent would bring her back. Rousey immediately went to a dream matchup that was frequently discussed, but never came to fruition.
“There’s only one person I would come back for,” Rousey said (h/t POST Wrestling). “I’ve said it a million times, it’s not like it’s something new but for Gina, Gina Carano. She’s the reason why I got into fighting, she’s the reason why I knew it was a possibility. I will always be forever grateful.”
Prior to throwing out Carano’s name, Rousey gave a firm “no” to the possibility of ever fighting again. She last fought in 2016 and is currently one of the WWE’s top performers, holding the sports entertainment organization’s SmackDown Women’s Championship and previously having won a Royal Rumble and headlined WrestleMania 35 alongside Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (the trio were the first women to ever headline a WrestleMania event).
Rousey’s pro wrestling success came after a history-making run in the UFC. She and current Bellator champion Liz Carmouche took part in the first women’s fight in the company’s history at UFC 157 and Rousey recorded six straight bantamweight title defenses while skyrocketing into mainstream fame.
Carano preceded Rousey, becoming one of women’s MMA’s first stars. In her last pro fight in August 2009, she lost to Cris Cyborg in the main event of a Strikeforce show on Showtime, the first time two women had ever headlined a major MMA card. She parlayed her fighting notoriety into a successful career in Hollywood, though her reputation was tarnished when she made anti-Semitic comments on social media that led to her being fired from Disney’s The Mandalorian.
Should Carano ever decide to take up Rousey’s offer, Rousey is happy to make the fight happen under any circumstances.
“If she ever was like, ‘Ronda, I want to fight you tomorrow, 205 pounds,’ like, whatever the hell she wants — I’m not saying she’s 205 pounds, I’m sure she’s very svelte — if she wanted to come into my backyard and do the Rocky thing or, you know, ‘ding ding’ and we just do it in the backyard, I don’t care,” Rousey said. “I will fight Gina wherever she wants. Even if she doesn’t want to forever, leave that offer there.
“It’s a respect thing, not like a, ‘F*** you. I’m coming to get you.’ It’s just like, ‘Hey, if you ever wanna pull that card out, it’s there.’ I love her. Thank you Gina for everything you’ve done.”
A potential bout between Rousey and Carano had been discussed on multiple occasions, with UFC President Dana White stating in 2014 that Carano would have received an immediate title shot for her comeback fight. However, Carano later claimed that a profane text from White spoiled any chance of that matchup being made.