UFC commentator Jon Anik believes now is the right time for Ronda Rousey to return to the UFC.
Anik appeared on the MMA Fighting show where the topic of Rousey came up. Earlier this year, UFC parent company Endeavor finalized the purchase of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where the former UFC champion currently performs.
Rousey’s MMA career lasted from 2010 through 2016, where she competed both in Strikeforce and the UFC. She was one of the most influential stars in women’s MMA and was the sport’s first true crossover star during her prime. Rousey won the bantamweight title for both promotions and was one of the most ferocious competitors in the company’s history.
Rousey compiled six defenses of her title in the UFC. Things fell apart for Rousey after suffering a shocking KO loss to Holly Holm in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. She would only fight one more time, a loss to Amanda Nunes, before retiring from the UFC.
Her WWE run has been just as successful, with Rousey winning the women’s Royal Rumble and multiple titles for the organization.
Anik commented that Rousey returning would be a positive move, but only if her comeback is handled the right way.
“If anyone is worthy of that time of opportunity, it’s probably Ronda Rousey. And I do believe she would be competitive because she would not enter that setting without the guarantee that she would be competitive.”
A Ronda Rousey comeback would do big business
Rousey exited the UFC after her demoralizing loss to Nunes, gone too was one of the organization’s top draws.
Nunes took over the mantle of the sport’s baddest female, but her pay-per-view buys were dismal. Aside from UFC 200, a stacked card, and her UFC 207 bout with Rousey, Nunes’ pay-per-view buys were abysmal. The four additional pay-per-views aside from those two pulled in 85,000 to 100,000 buys. This is a far cry from Rousey’s days as a reliable headliner.
We really can’t expect much from a 36-year-old Rousey. The confines of the WWE’s scripted events protect Rousey’s fragile ego, one that was permanently damaged at the end of her UFC run.
If she does decide to hit the octagon for one last run, it’ll be more along the lines of a one-off versus a handpicked opponent. Though this is ultimately a cheap buy-in for the UFC, there’s no doubt that the possibility will be there as long as Rousey remains in the WWE.