Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey is slowly making her way out of hiding following her dominating loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193. A new interview with Rousey captures the agony of defeat and the beginning of her road back to the title.
Ramona Shelburne has the exclusive post-fight story over at ESPN the Magazine. The terrific piece chronicles all of the behind-the-scenes rumors and stories leading up to UFC 193 but it’s the side of Rousey following the loss that is downright fascinating.
I won’t give away the entire story but there are several highlights making headlines. Rousey continued to fight after UFC 193, maybe battling her toughest foe since turning pro…depression.
“I’m just really fu*king sad.”
“I need to come back. I need to beat this chick. Who knows if I’m going to pop my teeth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open. I have to fu*king do it.”
“I just feel so embarrassed. How I fought after that is such an embarrassing representation of myself. I wasn’t even fu*king there.”
Rousey talks about going on a hunting trip with her boyfriend following the fight and admits that her body started falling apart.
“Physically, my body was refusing its own failures. It was, like, sick of itself. Expelling itself. Like all the skin came off my face. My whole body flushed it out.”
I am not the biggest Ronda Rousey fan but I can understand when her proponents claim that she will be much bigger after her loss. There is a humility about Rousey in this interview which is much more appealing than the arrogance that reared its ugly head every once in a while. Unfortunately for Rousey the humility will only get so far if she loses her rematch.
Rousey also talked about the fight in Melbourne and where it all went wrong. According to the former champion, she lost the fight early in the first round.
“I got hit in that first round. … I cut my lip open and knocked a couple of my teeth loose. I was out on my feet from the very beginning.”
“I wasn’t thinking clearly. I had that huge cut in my mouth and I just spit [the blood] out at my feet. Then they brought the bucket over and I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I spit it in the bucket?’ I never spit on the ground.”
“It was like a dumbed-down dreamy version of yourself making decisions. … I was just trying to shake myself out of it. I kept saying to myself, ‘You’re OK, keep fighting. You’re OK, keep fighting.‘”
Rousey makes a cryptic comment in the middle of the interview, once again intimating that she is still considering retirement.
“I guess it’s all going to be determined by what happens in the rematch,” she says. “Everything is going to be determined by that. Either I’ll win and keep going or I won’t and I’ll be done with everything.”
Those are enormous stakes for her and even bigger stakes for the UFC. If this was pro wrestling it’d be billed as a career vs. title fight. However, it is not pro wrestling, it is real life for Ronda Rousey. Whether this is just hyperbole or real talk it will undoubtedly translate into the biggest fight in UFC history.
Unfortunately it may be a fight she can’t win.