UFC women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, who is known as a longtime professional wrestling fan, can add several new accolades to her expanding trophy case.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which is regarded as one of the top – if not the top – journalism source in professional wrestling announced the winners of the 2014 WON awards. Rousey won three awards: Best Box Office Draw, Most Outstanding Fighter and MMA Most Valuable Fighter. The awards are voted by the readership of the newsletter. This can include promoters, agents, wrestlers, journalists, historians and fans. Rousey became the first woman to win in each category.
The Most Outstanding Fighter category – formerly known as “Shootfighter of the Year” – began in 1997 and previous winners of this award are a who’s who of MMA legends, including Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture and Rousey’s hero Fedor Emelianenko.
The Most Valuable MMA Fighter award started in 2007 and has gone to several previous champions, including Anderson Silva and Brock Lesnar, who won the award three-consecutive times.
But perhaps the biggest honor goes to the Box Office Draw of the Year award, which includes professional wrestlers as well as MMA fighters. Rousey is in good company as current stars like Lesnar and John Cena have received this honor. Fan-favorites such as Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock were also awarded this honor.
There have been whispers that the WWE is interested in working with Rousey. She’s got the star power, martial arts background and trash-talking skills that could work well in any wrestling ring.