LOS ANGELES: Mixed martial arts superstar Ronda Rousey said Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that next month’s comeback bout against Amanda Nunes will be one of her last-ever fights.
The 29-year-old from Los Angeles returns to the octagon on December 30 in Las Vegas as the main event in UFC 207, her first bout since she was pummeled to an upset defeat by Holly Holm in 2015.
Confirmation of Rousey’s return after a protracted absence has created a huge buzz with organizers predicting record pay per view buys.
However, Rousey, one of MMA’s biggest stars who has helped widen the sport’s growing global appeal, said on “The Ellen Show” that she is already eyeing her eventual retirement.
“Not that long, I’m wrapping it up,” Rousey told host Ellen DeGeneres when asked how much longer she planned to fight.
“This is definitely one of my last fights. Everyone better watch, because the show isn’t going to be around forever.”
Rousey, a former Olympic judo medalist who has used her MMA fame to help launch a career in Hollywood, said the ever-increasing demands on her time had left her weary of the sport.
“The build-up is more tiring than anything else,” she said. “If we had a fight right now, I’d be like, ‘I’ll fight right now,’ and then I’d go get dinner and I wouldn’t really be tired about it,” Rousey said.
“It’s the weeks and weeks of build-up beforehand and you know you’re fighting this one person and it’s your showdown and the most important thing in your whole life and millions of people are watching.
“It’s that build-up for weeks on end. If it happened right now, I wouldn’t be nervous at all. It’s the waiting.”
Rousey’s rise through the ranks of MMA earned her comparisons to Mike Tyson’s emergence in boxing’s heavyweight division during the 1980s, with the fighter generating excitement after a string of whirlwind knockouts.
However, she was battered by Holm when the two met in Melbourne in November 2015 in what is seen as the biggest upset in MMA history.