Ronda Rousey recently spoke with UFC's Megan Olivi about how WWE and MMA can take a toll on her mentality and physically, who taught her to lace up her boots, if WrestleMania was her bigger career moment, and her love for Stephanie McMahon.
Rousey discussed the differences between working in UFC, where it's much more of a mental drain, compared to the physical grind WWE can have on talent.
"It's physical in a different way, the stress from fighting is much, much more," Rousey said. "The training camp, the weeks leading up to it, the press, and going to sleep every night thinking about it. That's the real wear and tear, not so much the physical part of it. With fights you assume, 'Okay, I'll give myself at least a month to recover after that.' It's a peaking system, you allow yourself to peak and crash. With WWE it's just a grind and it's non-stop, I did the easy version, everybody else does 300 days a year. Their bodies don't get to rest as much as ours in MMA, but their minds get to rest a lot more in MMA I feel like. There's no pressure on anything."
One of Rousey's first big WWE appearances was at WrestleMania 31 when she was invited into the ring by The Rock where she would end up taking down Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Rousey said when she first returned one of her requests was to finish that story with Stephanie, partly because she's such a big fan of her.
"When I first came into the organization I was like, 'Hey, I would really liked to do this for a couple months, I'm gonna have a baby soon. Just so ya know, this isn't forever,"' Rousey began. "My one request was when we first started is I wanted to finish my storyline with Stephanie. That was my request because I love Stephanie McMahon so much, which is so funny because we're supposed to hate each other. But I love her! Oh my God, I lover her so much! It's so great to get that out. I love all of the girls so much."
Rousey also noted in the interview that Triple H was the one who taught her how to lace her wrestling boots properly.
"Triple H taught me how to lace my boots," Rousey revealed. "He was like, 'Oh no, you want to do do this from the outside in like this.' I was like, 'Triple H is showing me how to lace up my boots.' How can I not succeed in this situation when I have all the best people in this situation to help me succeed? I would be ashamed of myself if I could exceed every expectation."
Earlier this year, Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte were the first women to ever main event WrestleMania. Lynch would pick up the victory in the Winner Take All match, claiming both the RAW and SmackDown Women's Titles after pinning Rousey. While Rousey thought it was a big moment for her, she put her fight against Liz Carmouche (the first-ever women's fight in UFC history) at the top.
"Yeah, [WrestleMania 35] felt big," Rousey said. "I think it just has to do with the time and the perspective. Me and Liz Carmouche felt bigger to me. Even though it was years ago and not as many people watched, it was at the Honda Center which holds maybe 16k-20k compared to WrestleMania where it was in front of maybe 80k people and millions watching. I just felt me and Carmouche was the most pivotal moment had to happen that way or women's MMA would have ended before it started.
"With WrestleMania it just felt like all the stars were aligned and the whole universe was conspiring for us to succeed and there was not a single doubt in my mind that we would. For Carmouche, there were so many outside factors: the numbers had to do well, I had to win the match, but I had to win the match in an exciting way, and there were so many other factors I had to worry about."
You can check out the full clip in the video below. The entire interview will be available at 12 pm ET on UFC.com
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Megan Olivi with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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Interviewing @RondaRousey over the years has always been a fun experience, but when we sat down recently in California my chat with Ronda quickly became one of my favorite interviews. She was open, funny and so entertaining to catch up with. I'm beyond grateful she was willing to have this conversation and I think you'll really enjoy hearing what she has to say. Here's a sneak peak of our interview which comes out Sunday at noon EST on UFC.com ...