Chael Sonnen says Ronda Rousey was never the best fighter in the world and she made the right call to leave MMA when she did.
Rousey was the first UFC female champion and a massive star in the sport. Yet, why Sonnen thinks she was never the best in the world was simple. He says the Olympian was just in the right place at the right time.
“I do admit I never thought that Ronda was the best fighter in the world. The division was just forming and she was in the right place at the right time. And that sounds insulting but that’s the way I see it,” Sonnen said ESPN’s Ariel Helwani MMA Show (via MMA News). “I think she actually deserves a compliment. When she took her ball and went home as you put it, I think that actually left a message. I think that decision looked kinda like a fine wine and got better in time in this way, when you’ve had enough in this sport get out of it.
“Whether that means opening up your spot on the roster or in her case, her spot in title fights and main events and giving that chance to somebody else, or just for her own sanity and physicality. If it’s not what you wanna do anymore, get out of the way. Don’t go one foot in and one foot out.”
In the end, Chael Sonnen praised Ronda Rousey and believes her decision to walk away from the sport should be used by other fighters who are questioning when to leave MMA for good.
“I think Ronda’s decision, while judged and criticized at the time, I think it looks better with age. And I think that she made the right decision and helped to set a good example.”