With this morning’s (Mon., July 11, 2016) breaking news that the UFC had been purchased for a record $4 billion, countless unknowns arose regarding the direction of the world’s biggest MMA promotion.
Apparently a question regarding former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey won’t be one of them, however.
When the UFC was bought by William Morris Endeavor and their investors – a group called WME-IMG – a peculiar situation arose given that Rousey is represented by the WME-IMG talent agency. It may have seemed that created a stark conflict of interest involving her fighting, but Rousey will reportedly stay with the group because WME-IMG never negotiated her actual fights with the UFC.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell was the first to clarify the details:
Likely that Ronda Rousey will stay on as a client to new UFC owner WME-IMG because her fight contracts were never negotiated by them.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 11, 2016
Rousey famously made a whirlwind run to the lofty position of the UFC’s (and MMA’s overall, for that matter) biggest-ever crossover star from 2013-2015, defending her title a record six straight times with all coming by way of finish.
But that hype train came crashing to a halt at last year’s UFC 193, where Rousey lost to now-former champion Holly Holm via brutal head kick following a one-sided striking display from “The Preacher’s Daughter,” who boasted an extensive striking resume as a former champion boxer.
Rousey has since gone into a self-imposed seclusion of sorts, appearing rarely in public as her fighting future remains highly unknown. After recently undergoing a minor arthroscopic procedure on her knee, Dana White has hinted that Rousey may not return to the octagon until 2017.
He also stated that “Rowdy” will fight the champion, who is now Amanda Nunes after she beat Miesha Tate, who beat Holm at UFC 196, in the main event of UFC 200. If and when she does, her status with WME-IMG won’t be an issue.
Now it’s just a matter of getting arguably the new company’s biggest star to find her passion for fighting again.