Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been on both sides of the spectrum of mixed martial arts and professional wrestling. During a recent sit-down with Megan Olivi, the UFC Hall-of-Famer went on to compare both, stating how there is more mental stress in fighting.
“It’s physical in a different way. The stress from fighting is much, much more,” Rousey said. “Someone could walk into this room right now and I’ll beat the f—k out of anyone in this planet. But it’s the training camp, and the weeks leading up to it, and the press, and just going to sleep every night, thinking about it, and all those things. That’s the real wear and tear, I feel like. Not the physical part of it so much.
“And in fights, you’d just assume like ‘OK, I’m going to give myself at least a month to recover after that.’ So, it’s a peaking system,” she continued. “You allow yourself to peak and crash. With the WWE, it’s just a grind, and it’s non-stop.”
Rousey says she had it easy with her WWE career, being exempt from doing the yearlong shows that her contemporaries are subjected to. But what matters more for her is how professional wrestling is not as mentally draining.
“I did the easy version. Everyone else does 300 days a year,” she said. “Their bodies don’t get to rest as much as ours in MMA, but their minds get to rest a lot more than we do in MMA. I feel like there’s no pressure in anything.
“The only thing that compares to the mental strain in MMA is the Olympics. Because you train your whole life and you have one day for all of your training and all of your hard work to pay off. It was all for nothing. You can get another fight in a couple of months.”
The 32-year-old Rousey is putting her WWE career on hold to give way to her plans to start a family with husband Travis Browne. And as of right now, she is looking to rid herself from any mental stress whatsoever.
“I went from the highest stress possible to less and less,” she said. “And I’m older now, I don’t want to stress about anything anymore.”