"I would tell her it's all going to be okay, just keep working hard and it's all going to be okay," Ronda Rousey tells PEOPLE at WWE Evolution

By Jodi Guglielmi and Lindsay Kimble
October 29, 2018 02:02 PM
WWE Evolution, New York, USA - 28 Oct 2018
Credit: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock

Ronda Rousey is already shining bright in the WWE just months after joining — and she thinks her younger self would be proud.

Speaking to PEOPLE at WWE Evolution on Sunday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Garden City, New York, Rousey waxed nostalgic and revealed the advice she would give to herself if granted the chance to go back in time.

“First I would say you’re beautiful. I would tell her it’s all going to be okay, just keep working hard and it’s all going to be okay,” says Rousey. “I don’t think I’d want to tell her that all of her dreams are going to come true because I think the risk of failure is what makes me work so hard.”

The 31-year-old — who defeated Nikki Bella on Sunday — rose to prominence when she won 12 MMA fights in a row, with six coming while she was signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Rousey’s move to WWE has long been speculated, and in December 2017, it was reported that she was finalizing a deal to make the move official. She eventually made her WWE debut back in April at WrestleMania 34.

“This is different,” she tells PEOPLE of WWE Evolution. “I’m able to look around and enjoy the process of it, instead of having to enjoy it in hindsight of like ‘Just do a good job and then you can look back.’ It’s like I’m enjoying every single second of this.”

Calling the match “one of the biggest” of her life, she says, “I’m just enjoying myself too much.”

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“It’s new for me from being an Olympian and a fighter from having this tunnel focus and not being able to think about anything else,” says Rousey, who won the Olympic bronze medal during the 2008 Olympics. “I would feel myself becoming a smaller and smaller fraction of my personality as the event came closer because as a survival trait you have to. I don’t really feel like I’m in fight or flight mode all the time. I’m ready to fight but I’m happy at all time and relaxed at all times. It’s pretty different for me to be able to relax and be in a high pressure situation at the same time.”