Ronda Rousey has a unique perspective in that she’s experienced how fans are in both WWE and UFC. She spoke about the differences in fandom recently.
Given her winding road from UFC to WWE, Ronda Rousey has a unique perspective on both companies’ fans. A true pioneer of combat sports, the baddest woman on the planet almost singlehandedly changed Dana White’s stance on women fighting inside the cage. There’s a famous street interview where White was asked by a reporter when fans would see women in the UFC, to which he replied never. Rousey and her drawing power changed all of that.
The end of Rousey’s Ultimate Fighting career was bumpy, to say the least. So much so that opponents such as Liv Morgan have taken to bringing it up as a way to generate interest in matches. Still, there’s no denying the impact Rousey had on UFC, and she might be on the best run of her WWE career now that Triple H is in charge. Under Vince McMahon, she was typically forced to portray a smiling, happing-to-be-here babyface. These days, she’s allowed to play the role of an anti-authority tweener, which seems to be much more in her wheelhouse during SmackDown episodes.
Given her experience with both WWE and UFC fans, Rousey has a perspective that virtually no one this side of Brock Lesnar might be able to share. She opened up about those differences between the fandoms on her Baddest Stream On The Planet show on YouTube. “WWE fans care more about the wrestlers than the UFC fans care about the fighters,” she began. “UFC fans have much less respect for their veterans and the legends of the sport than WWE fans do. A lot of UFC fans are kind of like bandwagon fans in that way. It’s like, the second you’re not on top, you’re dead to them, whereas WWE fans are like, ‘This is the guy that, you know, did this 20 years ago,’ and they’re still really excited about that.” (h/t and a thank you to wrestlinginc.com for the transcription)
Ronda Rousey Might Have A Point
There might not be a more what-have-you-done-for-me-lately fandom than UFC. Rapid rises and falls sell tickets, and it’s rare for a fighter to stick at the top of the mountain for long. To Ronda Rousey’s point, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where WWE fans aren’t still fondly remembering The Undertaker or Scott Hall in 20 or 30 years. Meanwhile, it seems highly unlikely that UFC supporters will still actively talk about Alexander Volkanovski or Khamzat Chimaev in two decades, at least in the same reverent way.
The differences between UFC and WWE are vast, of course. There’s more of a focus on legacy building in WWE, where stories can be told and unfold over weeks, months, or sometimes years. Undertaker didn’t become Undertaker overnight, for instance. It took more than a decade for him to build that kind of equity with fans. Rousey’s comments here are interesting. She’d know better than most. The Arm Collector is set to take on Liv Morgan at Extreme Rules in an extreme rules match on October 8 in Philadelphia.
Sources: Baddest Stream On The Planet/YouTube, wrestlinginc.com
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