Mixed martial arts: Ronda Rousey reveals plans to retire soon

Ronda Rousey, 29, is one of mixed martial arts' biggest stars. The 2008 Olympic judo bronze medallist has helped widen the sport's growing global appeal.
Ronda Rousey, 29, is one of mixed martial arts' biggest stars. The 2008 Olympic judo bronze medallist has helped widen the sport's growing global appeal.PHOTO: STARHUB

LOS ANGELES • Mixed martial arts superstar Ronda Rousey said on Tuesday that next month's comeback bout against Amanda Nunes will be one of her last fights.

The 29-year-old from Los Angeles returns to the octagon on Dec 30 in Las Vegas as the main event in UFC 207, her first bout since she was pummelled to an upset defeat by Holly Holm last year.

Confirmation of Rousey's return after a protracted absence has created a huge buzz, with the organisers 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 DeGeneres Show that she is already eyeing her eventual retirement.

"Not that long, I'm wrapping it up," she told host Ellen DeGeneres when asked how much longer she planned to fight. "This is definitely one of my last fights.

"Everyone had better watch, because the show isn't going to be around forever."

Rousey, a former Olympic judo medallist 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.

"It's the weeks and weeks of build-up beforehand. 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."

Her 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 last year in what is seen as the biggest upset in MMA history.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2016, with the headline 'Rousey reveals plans to retire soon'. Print Edition | Subscribe