Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole looks back on Ronda Rousey's rise, and wonders how long it will last.
The UFC has put on more than 250 events in its more than 20 years of existence, and never before has there been a fighter who commanded such extraordinary attention with such little cage exposure as Rousey.
Rousey has fought one time in the UFC, with 4:49 of cage time.
Yet, by the time this year ends, she will not only have defended her title twice, she'll have starred in a television reality series, had key roles in two major motion pictures, testified in front of state legislatures from one end of the country to the other in support of mixed martial arts, and done a live spot on a late-night talk show. She also was the company's most requested fighter for personal appearances and became the first woman to make the UFC's pound-for-pound Top 10.
With ex-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre on sabbatical and considering retirement, Rousey is arguably the UFC's biggest drawing card.
The unanswerable question at this stage is whether she'll be able to come close to sustaining the pace she's set. One movie is a year's work for most people. So, too, is a starring role in a television series. And of course, being a professional fighter is a grueling, difficult, full-time job.
But Rousey also gets far more media attention than the overwhelming majority of UFC fighters and that becomes yet another full-time job in and of itself.
And so, the only possible downside with her is sustainability.
Successful athletes have an attitude that maybe doesn't make them the most warm and fuzzy human beings, but it propels them to success. Rousey definitely has that.
Given the pace she sets and the tremendous demands placed upon her, Rousey doesn't figure to be still doing this in 2038, when she would be 51 and challenging Ron van Clief's mark as the oldest fighter in UFC history.
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So what do you think UG? When does Rousey retire, and why? And how crazy is it to be even discussing retirement for someone who has under three years professional experience, and just one fight in the UFC?
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