MMA fans think of Ronda Rousey first as the UFC bantamweight champion. Before she changed the course of women's MMA, Rousey trained was a judo player training for the Olympics. A two-time Olympian, she won bronze in 2008. When someone's life has been broken into four-year cycles, that doesn't go away just because they move onto a new sport.
Rousey has been competing professionally in MMA since 2011. She admits she may only compete for another two years.
"I said from the beginning that I work in quadrennials," Rousey said to MMA Junkie. "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."
Rousey is fighting Miesha Tate on Dec. 28. The pair recently finished taping "The Ultimate Fighter," where they served as coaches on opposing teams. Now, Rousey is working on "The Expendables 3," a movie with Sylvester Stallone.
Just finished fitting for #expendables3 outfits, got to meet some of the cast too (they're badass-sweethearts!) Couldn't be more excited :D!
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) August 8, 2013
She is also reportedly going to be in the next sequel to "The Fast and the Furious." Does this mean the MMA world has lost Rousey to Hollywood? Gina Carano was the face of women's MMA before she started acting. She hasn't fought since.
Or is Rousey just smart enough to think beyond MMA? Too often, athletes don't have a next step after their athletic career is over. Rousey didn't when she finished her judo career. She didn't walk straight into MMA from the Olympics.
"I am the best [expletive] 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."
She believes she can balance a fighting and movie career. Rousey's short but brilliant career in MMA has taught us that when she believes something can happen, it will. But her words also remind us to enjoy Rousey's fighting career while we can.