Ronda Rousey mum on future plans, praises Shayna Baszler for WWE Mae Young Classic run

After a nearly 14-year MMA career, Shayna Baszler began her transition to pro wrestling in 2015 and since then has put it in time paying her dues.

Tuesday night represented Baszler’s hard work on the independent circuit finally paying off as she performed in the finals of the inaugural Mae Young Classic, WWE’s first all-female tournament. Baszler, who won three previous matches in the 32-woman competition that taped in July, lost to Japanese actress turned pro wrestling star Kairi Sane in the live finale at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ronda Rousey, Baszler’s former MMA teammate and longtime friend, sat ringside for the match and the “Smackdown Live” show that preceded it. There was speculation Rousey would somehow partake (likely in the form of interference), but the match ended clean.

Afterward, in an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Rousey praised Baszler for reaching this point in her pro wrestling journey.

“I’m just so proud of her and all the work that she’s done, and to really put in over the years, coming up through the indie scene, and going and fighting in Japan,” Rousey said. “Everything that she’s done has been to prove to herself and to everyone else that she’s done the work to deserve to be here. I think she really proved that to every single person watching tonight.”

Rousey wasn’t interested in talking about her own future.

Since her 48-second TKO loss to Amanda Nunes last December at UFC 207, Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has remained silent on whether she’ll return to the UFC. In fact, she hasn’t spoken on the record about her future until Okamoto sneaked in a question near the end of his 2 minutes with her.

Rousey predictably remained evasive.

“You know what? I don’t want to come to Shayna’s event on Shayna’s night and talk about myself,” Rousey said. “I just want to keep tonight all about her. And go, Shayna Baszler.”

There’s been speculation that Rousey, who married UFC heavyweight Travis Browne last month, has been training pro wrestling for a potential WWE story line that would culminate with a match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November.

At the very least, a non-answer leaves the door still open for a return to the octagon – slim as it might be.

Or nah?

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Here's Ronda Rousey and WWE's 4 Horsewomen having a tense encounter to set up possible match

The wheels certainly appear to be in motion for Ronda Rousey’s transition to pro wrestling.

It all started after Shayna Baszler’s second-round win in the Mae Young Classic tournament, which aired Monday on WWE Network. In a scripted segment, Baszler celebrated with Rousey and MMA teammates Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, setting off a heated exchange with WWE stars Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Bailey, who were seated in the front row across the aisle.

After last night’s episode, WWE.com shared an exclusive clip of Rousey, Duke and Shafir praising Baszler. They’re approached by Flair, Lynch and Bailey for a tense face-off. Rousey drops her bag as though she’s ready for a fight and is the only one to direct words at the three WWE stars (via Twitter).

“You name the time, you name the place. … Oh, not today? We’re waiting to hear from you.”

The angle at play here is that Rousey and Co. were dubbed MMA’s Four Horsewomen years ago as an homage to the classic Ric Flair-led pro wrestling stable that started in 1985 and lasted through the late ’90s. Meanwhile, Charlotte Flair, Lynch, Bailey, and Sasha Banks also came to be known as the Four Horsewomen of pro wrestling as they rose up the ranks from NXT to the WWE main roster.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE FOUR HORSEWOMEN. You get the picture.

Speculation has been that WWE’s hope was to have ex-UFC women’s bantamweight champion Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) involved in a four-on-four match at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November. If you follow WWE, then you know this makes sense given the tradition of the stable vs. stable theme of the event.

In fact, everything about this makes sense. Rousey loves pro wrestling, she’s reportedly started training for it, she’s already had one memorable appearance in the ring at Wrestlemania 33, and she’s not fighting for the UFC anymore.

So, yeah, let’s make this happen. Can’t wait to see Rousey deliver an elbow off the top rope.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Women's MMA pioneer Shayna Baszler discusses transition to WWE for women's tournament

Speculation of WWE star Brock Lesnar’s return to the UFC is running rampant, but there’s an MMA veteran who has moved the other way, and she’s about to get the biggest opportunity of her career.

Women’s MMA pioneer Shayna Baszler (15-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has had just one MMA fight in more than two years. She’s been focusing on her career as a pro wrestler. She’s had some solid success so far, but later this month can elevate her stature to the next level.

Baszler makes her WWE debut as part of the Mae Young Classic, which is 32-woman tournament set to stream on the WWE Network beginning Aug. 28.

Watch the video below to hear Baszler discuss the transition from fighting to pro wrestling (via Twitter):

Baszler, 36, is a good friend and former training partner of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. It’s possible Rousey could get involved with Baszler’s wrestling career at some point; she’s already appeared ringside at a recent WWE event.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie