Rumors have long been suggesting Ronda Rousey may join WWE after her mixed martial arts career is done, and these rumors were running wild in the weeks leading to UFC 207, an event Rousey had suggested may be one of her last. But following a quick loss at the event where she was dominated in less than a minute by UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes, she may no longer have a chance of working for WWE, according to ESPN anchor and former WWE announcer/authority figure Jonathan Coachman.
UFC 207 was supposed to mark the big return of Ronda Rousey to the Octagon, some 13 months after she lost her Bantamweight title to Holly Holm at UFC 193. But instead of marking a victorious comeback for “Rowdy,” it ended in ignominy for the 29-year-old former champion, as she was knocked out by Amanda Nunes, just 48 seconds into the first round. And since she chose not to appear at the post-fight press conference, this fueled a lot of speculation that she may soon be announcing her retirement.
However, Ronda hasn’t made anything official just yet, as she released a statement yesterday to ESPN, as quoted below by Wrestling Inc.
“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.”
Currently, it’s too early to conclude that Ronda Rousey will move to WWE or concentrate more on her budding acting career. However, given how quickly she had lost to Nunes at UFC 207, former WWE announcer-turned ESPN host Jonathan Coachman believes that it’s no longer an option for her to join the professional wrestling giant.
“Sorry no chance,” said the “Coach” in a Twitter response to a fan. “You can’t (bring Ronda Rousey to WWE) at any point. Perception matters. That performance mattered.”
Michael listen to me. It will NEVER happen. They are not in the business of bringing in a broken star and rebuilding her. https://t.co/JUOAVig2ov— Jonathan Coachman (@TheCoachESPN) December 31, 2016
A report from SEScoops further quoted Coachman, who replied to another Twitter user who asked if there’s a chance Ronda will somehow make it big in WWE despite her loss to Nunes at UFC 207.
“They are not in the business of bringing in a broken star and rebuilding her.”
Coachman’s outlook on the possibility of the biggest star in the history of women’s mixed martial arts joining WWE are interesting, as it wasn’t more than a few weeks ago when WWE Chief Brand Officer and Monday Night RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon was very enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing Rousey in at some point in the future. Rousey was a participant in an angle at WrestleMania 31, where she and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson teamed up to embarrass McMahon and husband/fellow WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque, both of whom play villainous roles on WWE television.
“Our fans love Ronda,” McMahon said at that time, speaking to USA TODAY. “Ronda has this cross-platform appeal in terms of all forms of entertainment. We would welcome her with open arms. She is the total package.”
Indeed, it might not look good on WWE if it brings in someone from a non-scripted fighting sport who suffered such a shocking and quick loss in her last fight, regardless of her iconic status in the sport. However, wrestling fans have long learned to say “never say never” when it comes to these things, which means it may be too soon to rule out Ronda Rousey joining WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]