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Is a UFC return in the works for Ronda Rousey?

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey, the former women’s bantamweight champion, hasn’t competed in the UFC in nearly seven years, but that could be about to change.

During the UFC Fight Night 224 media day on Wednesday, women’s bantamweight contender Chelsea Chandler told reporters she wouldn’t be surprised to see Rousey return to the Octagon in the near future.

“I’ve been hearing Ronda is coming back,” Chandler said. “I’ve heard she’s coming back at 145. You never know. … It has been a long time for her and things change, people get better, and I think people are on to her one-trick-pony armbar. Money talks, and she would bring eyes to the sport again. I feel like her time in WWE is starting to go down, so I’d like to see it.”

Rousey’s most recent UFC outing was a first-round TKO loss against the recently retired Amanda Nunes in December 2016. It was only Rousey’s second loss of her career and her second consecutive defeat in a title bout.

The next year, she launched a full-time pro wrestling career with WWE. She’s been with the company for seven years, winning the women’s championship three times and the women’s tag team championship once. Rousey also won the Royal Rumble in 2022.

Rousey’s WWE contract expires later this year, so a return to the UFC isn’t completely out of the question.

Chandler, the UFC’s No. 15-ranked bantamweight fighter, wasted no time in throwing her hat into the ring as a potential welcome-back opponent for the former champion, who began her MMA career with 12 straight wins and seven successful title defenses.

“If I got out there and put on the performance I plan on putting (on against Norma Dumont on Saturday), I’ll welcome her to 145,” Chandler added. “I think it would be a great fight.”