Despite being on top of the world right now in women's (and men's) mixed martial arts (MMA), Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey could be walking away from the sport in just two more years.
Who saw this one coming? Oh wait, we did.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Rousey opened up about her plans for her fighting career and what she still wants to accomplish.
"I said from the beginning that I work in quadrennials. I do four-year cycles. I think I've got two years left in me, realistically, if I'm going to do this like an Olympic run... I'd say two more years, so I've got two more years to get the ball rolling without me. 'TUF' was the first step. It's not the last one, but the work's getting done."
Rousey got off to a pretty damn quick start in her first two years in the sport. Wthin one year of turning pro, she was already fighting for and winning the Strikeforce bantamweight title in a fascinating bout against then-champion Miesha Tate.
She's since defended the belt against both Sarah Kaufman and Liz Carmouch in the first women's fight in UFC history, but the latter bout, in which she had her back taken and she was put in a pretty nasty-looking neck crank, opened her eyes quite a bit about the potential to lose it all no matter how hard she works.
"I think one profession has a much-longer shelf life than the other. My last fight, I was kind of forced to face my mortality a little bit. I had an air of invincibility about me, and I was kind of forced to realize statistically there is a chance you could get permanently hurt or even die. There's only so many times you can roll the dice. I am the best f---ing fighter in the world, and I truly believe that, but you're still rolling the dice no matter who you are, so I do have to kind of set up an exit strategy. That's what I did wrong in judo. I followed it all the way until the end, and I didn't put any thought into after."
What Rousey is referring to in Judo was the fact that she had nowhere to go when she decided to stop competing at the Olympic level. The "Rowdy" one ended up bartending and working all sorts of side jobs to get by, even driving a beat-down Honda around California all the way up until she won the title.
With that being said, Rousey is hoping she can set the table for women's MMA to be successful once she's gone. That started with her recent filming of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) to include females and it will hopefully finish with a worthy successor when she eventually decided to walk away.
Until then, despite the acting roles being offered, she'll still have her priorities straight.
"I really want to do something special, and I really want to be the person that was able to do both (acting and fighting). When I feel like I'm done fighting, I'm done fighting. But I'm not done fighting yet. It's still my priority, and I feel like if I can have three jobs on the side and still train and fight, then I can every once in a while go do a movie. I'll still train while I'm there and then go fight."
Rousey will next defend her title against heated rival Miesha Tate in a rematch. The bout will go down at the end of the year (Dec. 28, 2013) as the co-main event of UFC 168 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Is the former Olympic bronze medalist making the right call? What would you do given the same circumstances?