Despite reports that UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been offered a role in a sequel to the blockbuster hit movie The Hunger Games, UFC president Dana White says it’s unlikely it will happen.
“I don’t want to take away any opportunities from Ronda, but at the same time, the thing that you have to keep in perspective is that her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is (limited),” White said on the latest episode of UFC Tonight on FUEL TV.
“She could make a zillion movies when (she retires). Where she’s really going to make the money is here fighting. I don’t care if she’s the lead role in Hunger Games 2, she would not make anywhere near — I mean, not even in the universe — the money she makes fighting.”
Rousey has previously said that she is the type of person who devotes 100 per cent of her time to one career at a time, so she didn’t want to pursue any acting roles until she is done fighting professionally.
White also explained that it would not be beneficial to her MMA career if she accepted a role in a movie like that.
“A movie takes her out of the mix for eight months,” White explained. “First of all (the Hunger Games) is an international hit. When that thing launches in the U.S. she’d have to do all the press for that, she’d have to do all the press for the U.K. and every other country that that movie launches in and she can’t be gone for that long, she really can’t. It’s something that we talked about briefly but we haven’t really got into it yet.”
Rousey made history last Saturday at UFC 157, becoming the first female to win a fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She has already become one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts and the 25-year-old is viewed as an athlete that will generate more and more main stream popularity the longer she continues to have success in the UFC. To some, Hollywood is a logical next step for Rousey.
Active fighters appearing in movies is not a new concept, in fact many fighters have budding film careers. Most notably, Quinton (Rampage) Jackson starred as B.A. Baracus in the hit A-Team movie from 2010 and Randy Couture has a recurring role in the popular Expendables franchise. Cung Le also has a successful film career; Canadian light-heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski had a decent role in the MMA comedy Here Comes the Boom last year and welterweight Mike Pyle made a cameo in Men in Black 3.
Plus, many fighters have had small roles in MMA and action films such as the Academy Award-nominated Warrior and the Never Back Down movies.
Also, the former face of women’s MMA, Gina Carano, made the transition into film following her fight career. Carano starred in the acclaimed Steven Soderbergh flick Haywire in 2011 and is slated to be in Fast and Furious 6 with Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson in 2013.
On a related note, there have been rumours that Carano is interested in potentially returning to MMA to one day challenge Rousey in a blockbuster bout.
Only time will tell whether or not Rousey will follow in Carano’s footsteps — or if the two will ever meet in the cage. For now, Rousey will likely defend her title next against the winner of Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano, which takes place at The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale on April 13.