In an exclusive interview with ESPN prior to appearing in the Royal Rumble, Ronda Rousey proudly exclaimed, “This is my life now.” ESPN’s story was embargoed – and totally secret – till the end of the pay-per-view.
“This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt,” Rousey told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.'”
The former UFC Bantamweight champion commands big money wherever she goes but her WWE pay will probably be much less than anything else she could have chosen. Still, she will most likely be the highest-earner in the women’s division.
“I’m so happy and I don’t have words for it – and I usually have words for everything; This never happened before,” she said after the Rumble ended. Happiness that was obviously very visible in the ring. She was smiling. She was beaming. She was having fun. And you can’t hide genuine happiness.
“I’m like – this is the most overstimulated I’ve ever been in my life and…I’m just, like I’m still processing it.” It’s a career that Rousey wanted for several years but couldn’t do and even she said she never thought she would be able to do it. “And now that I realize I really do have this opportunity, I feel like my 6-year-old self would totally kick my ass if I didn’t take it.”
Meanwhile, her former boss, UFC President Dana White was happy that Rousey is back, even though it’s not in his Octagon. In previous interviews, White said that he does not want Ronda to fight again after her two back-to-back losses.
“I’m happy for her. This is something she has always wanted to do,” White wrote in a text to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “Ronda continues to achieve everything she has ever wanted.”