UFC womens bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who made waves when she headlined last Saturday's UFC pay-per-view defending her title against Liz Carmouche, has reportedly been offered a starring role alongside Jennifer Lawrence in an installment of the Hunger Games series. With the second of the four film series already finished filming, Rousey would likely be in the third film, entitled Mockingjay (Part I).
The MMA world has seen many fighters move to film careers, including the face of womens MMA prior to Rousey, Gina Carano. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Randy Couture have also had starring roles in films, and their acting careers have gotten in the way of their fighting careers, so much so for Couture that he retired to focus solely on acting.
Outspoken UFC president Dana White trashed a potential film career for Rousey.
"You know how I feel about the movie stuff. When Rampage did the movie, it was his dream to be a part of the A-Team. I don't want to take away any opportunities from Ronda, but at the same time, her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is really narrow. She could make a zillion movies when she retires. Where she's really going to get the money is here fighting. I don't care if she's the lead role in ‘The Hunger Games 2,' she would not make anywhere near – I mean, not even in the universe – to the money she makes fighting."
I'm not sure how accurate that really is, considering Rousey took home $90,000 for her fight on Saturday (excluding any bonuses or sponsorship money), and the first Hunger Games movie grossed $686 million worldwide. While the UFC's business is doing well, is it really doing *that* well?
Both sides of the argument on this are plausible. White's side of things, that Rousey would be wasting her athletic prime and would be missing opportunities to make money in the Octagon, makes tons of sense. Look what happened to Carano: she took part in the short-lived, new edition of American Gladiators in 2008, lost her EliteXC womens middleweight championship to Cris Cyborg in August 2009, then was named to the lead role in Haywire a month later, and hasn't fought since. But at the same time, Carano is making a lot more money in the film world than she ever did fighting, and isn't having to train for dozens of hours a week and endangering her health.
Personally, I think Rousey is going to end up declining the role… for now. She still has a lot left to prove, and the UFC's entire women's division is riding on Rousey's shoulders right now. If she walks away after one title defense, you might as well put a fork in anyone ever taking the division seriously. Sometimes, it's about more than just yourself, and that could be the situation here for Rousey.