Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey sat in the front row Tuesday night to watch friend Shayna Baszler compete in the finals of WWE’s Mae Young Classic. Baszler, who has transitioned from part-time fighter/pro wrestler to full pro wrestler, lost to Kairi Sane in the finals but is still expected to receive a chance in the WWE.
Rousey, also rumored to be joining her in the pro wrestling promotion, spoke with ESPN after the bout. Rousey dodged questions about her possible future with WWE, instead focusing the attention on Baszler.
“I’m so proud of her,” Rousey said. “All the word that she’s done and put in over the years coming up through the indie scene and fighting in Japan. Everything that she’s done has been to prove to herself and everyone else that she deserves to be here. I think she really proved that to every person watching.”
Rousey recently married fellow UFC fighter Travis Browne. She has not fought since suffering a loss last December to Amanda Nunes for the title.
During an interview with Cathy Kelley at the Mae Young Classic red carpet event, Rousey took a similar approach of focusing on Shayna Baszler and refraining from talking about her own future.
“You know what, tonight’s all about Shayna. I’m just here to support Shayna and I don’t want to be the kind of person that shows up to support her friend and ends up talking about herself all night. So – it’s all about her, man. It’s all about her.”