Ronda Rousey is arguably the biggest star currently under contract with the UFC but it remains unclear how long she will stick around.
According to longtime family friend and pro wrestling legend Judo Gene LeBell, Rousey should retire from MMA while she is undefeated as to avoid what happened to Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali.
“I don’t want her hurt by fighting too long,” LeBell told Submission Radio. “And you can be the best in the world and catch a punch or a kick and it can hurt you. I’ve got injuries that, you know, they were over within a couple of days when you’re young. 20 years later, you come back and you’re limping around, ‘oh I remember when I hurt my knee’ and it comes back on you.
“The only initial investment you have is your body. You know, that’s in MMA, Football, Soccer, Basketball. Your body is your initial investment. I recommend all MMA fighters get a second job. In other words, I’ve had people that are real good, and then they can’t make it anymore and they made lots of money, and then they’re out of a job. Have another vocation, another avocation, another job. Something that you can go back on.”
Fortunately for Rousey, LeBell believes she has a viable future in Hollywood or the WWE, which should help secure her financial future while protecting her from prolonged damage in MMA.
“She could become one and she would be very good, but why? Because she wouldn’t go on the road, and drive from one town to the next to make things. She might do a spot-show once in a while, but it’s better to do movies. ‘Cause in movies, if they play it again, even if you have a small part – like you talk about Rocky. I get residuals. I must have gotten thousands of dollars in residuals from that, and in dollars, American dollars. And once you do wrestling, that’s it. Plus I got life time insurance, which is very important and for me and my family, and that’s a good thing.
“I love pro wrestling. I wrestled pro on-and-off for 20 years. I love it. It was the way of life. But I think she’s better off doing movies, and I personally would like to see her retire while she’s on top.”
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