Ronda Rousey was last seen inside of the Octagon on November 14, when she fought at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia.
That night, Rousey suffered her first loss when Holly Holm knocked out the longtime champ in what many considered to be the biggest upset of the year. After this defeat, Rousey became somewhat of a recluse in the days and weeks following the event, opting to not even attend the post fight press conference.
The 29-year-old fighter has not competed in almost a year now, with many fans wondering if she was considering retirement from mixed martial arts. After all, Rousey's star power had opened the doors for her to tackle opportunities in movies, TV, and modeling.
However, it now appears that the UFC is inching closer to announcing the return of arguably their biggest star. It is being reported that "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey may return to face the new Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
A lot has happened in the UFC since Ronda Rousey's self imposed hiatus. The women's bantamweight title has switched hands three times, Conor McGregor had his own iconic defeat (and eventual redemption in the rematch), and the UFC was sold for a colossal $4 billion price tag.
After leading the charge for women in the UFC, bringing millions of new fans to the the sport, inspiring women and men alike, and taking on countless media obligations, Rousey was overdue for some well deserved time off. Not one to merely sit around though, a lot has also happened in Rousey's personal career since her loss to Holly Holm. Below we take a look at what she's been up to since UFC 193.
Marine Corps Ball
After a stranger invited her to attend the Marine Corps Ball as his date via a Facebook video, Ronda Rousey endeared herself further to her fans by accepting the invitation and even calling it an honor.
After describing the former UFC champ as his female crush and a "phenomenal athlete," US Marine Jarrod Haschert wasn't entirely sure the star would show up. Thankfully for Haschert, Ronda Rousey made good on her September promise to attend the Marine Corps Ball, even describing it as an opportunity to get off her couch and back into the world.
Hosting Saturday Night Live
On January 23, Ronda Rousey joined the long list of celebrities who have hosted Saturday Night Live. Appearing alongside Selena Gomez and acting in multiples sketches, Rousey excelled in her first big public appearance since her defeat. Rouser's role on the show also marked the first time a mixed martial artist has ever led the long-running program.
Back to Hollywood
Following successful roles in films such as Fast & Furious 7, The Expendables 3 and Entourage, it appeared as if the acting bug had well and truly bit Rousey. In January of this year, Deadline broke the news that Universal had acquired a film called Do Nothing Bitches, which will star Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey.
The film was born from an interview Rousey gave in 2015 about female self-worth. The interview has generated more than 3 million hits on YouTube and led to 57,000 T-shirts with the phrase, "Do Nothing Bitches," being sold.
Sports Illustrated Cover
Wearing nothing but a hand painted swimsuit, Ronda Rousey was one of three models chosen for the historic body paint Sports Illustrated magazine cover shoot. Celebrating the varieties of healthy body types, Rousey appeared alongside model Hailey Clauson and size-16 body activist Ashley Graham. The shoot was a massive success, on personal success for Rousey, who was bullied in school due to her athletic figure.
EA Sports UFC 2
From one cover to another, Ronda Rousey was chosen as one of two cover thletes for the EA Sports UFC 2 video game, alongside Conor McGregor. Rousey was a key feature in the game's advertising, asking players if they could beat her fastest knockout win of 16 seconds.
TIME's 100 Most Influential People
Earlier this year, Ronda Rousey was named by TIME magazine as one of the most influential people in the world. Appearing in the "icons" section alongside only 10 other athletes, the honor highlighted just how far the sport of MMA has come and just how much of a global star Ronda Rousey still is.
With UFC 207 happening on December 30th in Las Vegas, what better way to round out the UFC year calendar by announcing the long awaited return of Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey. Amanda Nunes has already made her intentions clear that Rousey is the fight she wants, and with multiple media outlets reporting that the fight will be booked by the end of the week, it looks like fight fans are finally getting what they want: the return of Ronda Rousey.
After a year-long absence, it will be interesting to see what kind of fighter shows up.