Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey has broken her silence after her shocking 48-second defeat at the hands of reigning Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes.
— UFC (@ufc) December 31, 2016
In a statement to ESPN.com, Rousey not only thanked her fans for their continuing support, but applauded Nunes and the entire women’s bantamweight division for their progress.
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.
Whatever Rousey decides to do, she no doubt has a bright future ahead of her. “Rowdy” as she is also known to fans, has not only etched her name into the sports world with her dominant reign in the UFC bantamweight division, but has also made a name for herself with her acting, modeling, and WWE appearance. Should she decide to quit MMA, high-paying jobs in any of those industries will certainly be open to her.
Ronda Jean Rousey is a former judo Olympian. She made her professional MMA debut in March 2011 against Ediane Gomes, whom she beat early in the first round thanks to her deadly armbar.
Rousey’s next 12 fights pretty much told the same story, as she dispatched contender after contender with such ease that MMA fans seriously questioned whether anyone in the women’s bantamweight division stood a chance against her.
Unfortunately for Rousey, Holly Holm answered that question in December 2015 at UFC 193. Though the underdog in the fight, Holm stuffed Rousey’s grappling attempts and dominated her while standing. Early in the second round, Holm shocked the world when she knocked Ronda out, becoming the second woman to wear the UFC women’s bantamweight strap.
The loss obviously devastated Rousey. She took a break from the UFC and revealed that she had contemplated suicide.
A year later, though, Ronda was ready to make her triumphant return at UFC 207, where she would take on Nunes.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) December 8, 2016
Unfortunately, triumph was not what the fates had in mind. Nunes did to Rousey exactly what Holm did…only in 1/6 of the time. Soon after the first bell rang, the champion stunned Rousey with a punch. Nunes then chased Rousey around the cage, tagging her again and again. After only 48 seconds, referee Herb Dean had seen enough, and he called an end to the fight.
But is this the end of Ronda Rousey? Will a woman who was once the most dominant force in the bantamweight division — and arguably women’s MMA — be able to recover from a second devastating defeat?
Fans and detractors alike will have to wait and see.