Ronda Rousey gained superstar status for her dominance in mixed martial arts, and for her looks, and she parlayed both into acting jobs. With her UFC career appearing to be over, it makes sense that Rousey, who has already appeared in the ring at a 2015 WrestleMania event, might look into a stint with the WWE.
That could be exactly the plan for the former UFC champion and Olympic judo bronze medalist, as a website devoted to MMA and wrestling recently reported that Rousey has gone "as far as to learn some of the basics" of pro wrestling. According to Fightful.com, which cited WWE sources, the company "referred Rousey . . . to current superstar Brian Kendrick for training purposes in Southern California."
Rousey, who has been known as a major fan of pro wrestling, was spotted speaking with WWE executive Triple H at a taping for the Mae Young Classic, the company's all-female tournament. She was ostensibly on hand to cheer for her friend Shayna Baszler, a former UFC fighter competing in the tournament, but her presence sparked renewed speculation that she herself might be close to joining the action.
"There was also buzz backstage at the tournament - mainly among WWE employees and contractors - that Rousey's training would start soon," Fightful reported. "She's taken some basic bumps among other things thus far."
Adding to the drumbeat, WWE announcer Jim Ross said last week that he thought it was "inevitable" that Rousey would be "a big star" for his company. "I see her in a WrestleMania someday," he told TMZ Sports. "It's too great an opportunity for her to pass up and WWE to pass up - it's a match made in heaven."
Rousey herself has said in the past that she would "love to have the chance to be the Divas world champion," referring to the WWE's female wrestlers. She has most recently been seen on ABC's "Battle of the Network Stars," but a spate of WWE-centric Twitter follows in June had some wondering if she might turn up at SummerSlam later this month.
There has long been crossover between pro wrestling and MMA, and we recently saw Jon Jones, shortly before winning the UFC light heavyweight crown, call out WWE star and former UFC heavyweight king Brock Lesnar. In addition, UFC featherweight champ Cris "Cyborg" Justino has been carrying on a public feud with WWE star Becky Lynch and calling for their own SummerSlam showdown.
UFC fans never got a chance to see Rousey square off with Cyborg, a longtime antagonist, in the Octagon, but could it happen in a WWE ring? Perhaps, but in any case, signs are increasingly pointing to Rousey making more than cameo appearances at pro wrestling events.