It didn’t take long for Ronda Rousey to speak about her 48 second loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
Rousey made herself scarce to media since losing to Holly Holm. She also skipped her media obligations for UFC 207 as well as Friday’s post event press conference. Less than 24 hours after her loss to Nunes though, Rowdy issued an official statement via ESPN:
“I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me.
Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.
I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”
With her statement, Rousey’s future in the sport is uncertain. She has lost her last two bouts by knockout and both to elite strikers. Prior to those losses, Rousey dominated women’s MMA like no other, tapping out one opponent after another with her signature armbar. But as the game evolved with high level strikers like Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, Rousey’s weak striking game was exposed. She was expected to address that after her loss to Holm. But on Friday, she looked defenseless and was a sitting duck target for Amanda Nunes.
There were also several question marks on her mental toughness, especially after her emotional breakdown following her loss to Holm. Many believed that her defeat at UFC 193 was career deflating and that it may have cost her appetite to fight again. Rousey disappeared from the public eye after that loss only to surprise the MMA world that she would be challenging Nunes for her old belt at the UFC’s final event of 2016. Looking back now, perhaps Rousey should’ve taken a tune-up fight to gauge her desire and readiness to fight the best women in the business. But can you blame her for wanting to win back her old belt? She said it wasn’t about the money and all. Let’s give that to her.
Sure, sometimes everything doesn’t go as you planned them to be. But your plan has to be the right one. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case on Friday night. Like Amanda Nunes said, Ronda Rousey was given false security by the people close to her. That was her downfall. If Ronda Rousey is thinking of fighting again, she must change camps first. Because more than herself, Ronda Rousey’s coach cost her the most important bout of her MMA career. And that is not forgivable in a sport where you are as good as your last fight.