Ronda Rousey Names the Only Fighter Who Could Bring Her Out of MMA Retirement

Ronda Rousey has not stepped back inside the Octagon for an MMA bout since failing to win back the UFC Bantamweight Championship from Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in December 2016. Since then, the UFC Hall of Famer has turned her full attention towards professional wrestling and is currently the reigning SmackDown Women's Champion for WWE. But there's one matchup that would convince her to fight again, as she explained while on The Kurt Angle Show recently. 

"There's only one person. There's only one person I would come back for. I mean, I've said it a million times, for Gina, man. 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," Rousey said (h/t Fightful). "If she ever was like, 'Ronda, I wanna fight you tomorrow at 205 pounds,' like whatever the hell she'd want, I'm not saying she's 205 pounds. If she wanted to come into my backyard and do the Rocky thing, you know, 'ding-ding' and we just do it in the backyard, I don't care. I will fight Gina wherever she wants and if she doesn't want to, forever, [I will 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."

Carano revealed that UFC attempted to set up the match between herself and Rousey back in 2019, but it never came to fruition. Rousey was already with WWE by that point and Carano was starring as Cara Dune on The Mandalorian

One person who has openly called out Rousey recently is Julianna Pena, the current UFC Bantamweight Champion and the woman who finally dethroned Nunes late last year. She blasted Rousey while on The MMA Hour back in April.

"Ronda is so old news, right?" Pena said. "I think that what's incredible about her is that she opened up the door and was destroying people in 10 seconds, and became a star because she was demolishing people in the first round, and that's great — but she got knocked out twice and never came back. So how legit is she? She had to go to pro wrestling. And I get that and I think that that's great. But as a fighter and somebody who is competitive, I know that — deep down — it probably truly bothers her, the fact that she went away off of two knockout losses and never came back to make her name good. If it really truly does bother her and if it gets under her skin at the end of the day to know that, you know, her legacy is kind of ruined by the fact that she never came back and never got back on the horse, then I would like to invite her to please come back — and if she would like to come back, I would welcome her with open arms."

Pena added — "That's what I'm saying, she's kind of a joke in the MMA world now, because she's a — what is the word? — sellout. Like, a little bit of a sellout there. I mean, I guess I understand, right? It's like, pro wrestling is fake, you get paid millions of dollars, I get it. But for me, for real s— for like the 'you're the real, real deal,' I would say that that's in the UFC. And if she ever wants any of that real smoke, I'm ready."