Farewell for now, Ronda Rousey

Rousey won't say she's retired from MMA. (1:38)

Ronda Rousey says she has a great relationship with Dana White and won't commit to saying she's done with MMA. (1:38)

The next chapter of Ronda Rousey's public life is official. The most influential female fighter of all time is taking her talents to the WWE.

While she doesn't confirm that this is the end of her UFC career, one of the most memorable tenures in UFC history, Rousey's change in direction is definitely a goodbye of some sort.

How will the sport of mixed martial arts remember Ronda Rousey? That's easy. She's a pioneer. One of the best ever. She's directly responsible for women's opportunities in the UFC and beyond.

How will Rousey remember mixed martial arts? That one is more tricky -- and probably far more interesting.

Since the loss to Holly Holm in 2015, it has felt as if Rousey wanted very little to do with what she built. Even when she came back for a final (unsuccessful) fight in 2016, she seemed angry at the sport in general, as if it had betrayed her in some way.

Her mantra during that last camp was 'FTA,' short for F--- Them All. That scorn was allegedly directed at anybody and everybody, but of course the MMA world felt it most, because that was the world from which Rousey originated.

It has been a strange way for such a historic career to end. One minute, women's MMA was Rousey's torch to carry. The next, it was a stranger to her.

To be clear, whenever Rousey's fighting days were over, she never owed the sport a thing. But to seemingly harbor some outright resentment toward it -- it's not the ending anyone would have guessed.

So, here's hoping Rousey's outward relationship with the sport and UFC changes some day. Here's hoping she can (or secretly already does) celebrate what she meant to it.

Prior to that comeback against Amanda Nunes in 2016, Rousey told ESPN The Magazine, "I want to be able to walk away with my head held high. I don't want 'good enough' to be my legacy."

So Ronda, here's what I have to say to you.

Ronda, the phrase "good enough" was never even in the running to define your legacy. The sport is not laughing behind your back about two losses. It's still feeling the effects of your success. Conor McGregor is quick to (rightfully) take credit for the UFC's $4 billion price tag in 2016. You should, too.

As it turned out, you weren't a perfect fighter. But such a thing does not exist.

You are undoubtedly a sore loser, but who cares? It's part of what made you great. And if anyone is hung up on that, or wants to remind you of the bad nights rather than the good ones, live by your own advice and FTA.

Life will go on for both Rousey and the UFC, whether Rousey wishes to have anything to do with the sport or not.

The sport will celebrate her either way, but the party would sure be better if she chooses to attend some day.