Prior to UFC 157, one of the biggest stories heading into the event was the rising popularity of Ronda Rousey.

The newly crowned UFC women’s bantamweight champion was the center of attention on a fight card that included a former UFC champion in Lyoto Machida, a former Pride and Strikeforce champion in Dan Henderson and a former WEC champion in Urijah Faber.

It wasn’t that Machida and Henderson were being ignored, but Rousey was instantly the focal point of the masses, no matter who else was around. A decent amount of the media coverage before this fight may have been due to it being the first women’s bout in UFC history, but there is a certain an “It” factor that Rousey possesses that makes her impossible to ignore.

Now that Rousey’s first test inside the Octagon is over, it was only a matter of time before she became one of the most sought-after fighters in the sport. And like many other fighters before her, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rousey headed to Hollywood at some point in the next year or so.

The most obvious reference point for Rousey’s potential career path has to be Gina Carano, who was at one time considered the fighter that would save WMMA, a title that was gladly picked up by Rousey at some point in the last 12 months.

Carano started out by gaining the mainstream media’s attention during her time in EliteXC and Strikeforce, and when the opportunity came to hang up her gloves and start a film career, she took it.

Granted, Carano’s film career really didn’t take off until she was done with MMA, following a loss to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, but the same scenario could end up being played out in eerily similar fashion if Cyborg somehow finds her way inside the Octagon.

The bout between Rousey and Cyborg would be by far the biggest fight in the history of women’s MMA, and unless Carano ends up back in the cage opposite Rousey, it’s the fight that most WMMA fans are going to be calling for.

It may only take one loss for Rousey to decide to leave the cage for the bright lights of Hollywood, and considering how tough the life of a fighter is, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if “Rowdy” decided to turn in two-a-days for a few hours on a movie set.

Interestingly enough, Rousey does have the personality that could lead to a film career, if she ever decides to go that route. The women’s bantamweight champion is one of the most dynamic personalities in the sport and has never been afraid to speak what’s on her mind. These character traits have made Rousey one of the most polarizing fighters in the entire sport, and if channeled the right way, they could end up making her a bigger movie star than many in the MMA community think is possible.

Even though fight fans want to see “Rowdy” inside the cage for as long as possible, it’s hard to believe that she is going to keep fighting in the UFC if big-money movie offers start coming her way. UFC President Dana White has said that he believes Rousey will make far more money fighting inside the Octagon instead of in front of a camera, but in reality, the risks involved in a cage fight are far more dangerous than making a movie.

Rousey may never become a movie star, but the odds are that she’s going to catch the acting bug at some point in her career. After that happens, it just depends on how committed she is to being an MMA fighter, rather than an actress.

Photo: Ronda Rousey (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.