What will Ronda Rousey do next?
Photo Credit: John Locher / AP Photo
Ronda Rousey trained for more than a year for her big comeback fight – and it only took 48 seconds for Amanda Nunes to knock her down.
Not the comeback the once most dominant female fighter was hoping for, to say the least. She looked completely unprepared against both Holly Holm in 2015 and Nunes on Dec. 30. Is this the end of Rousey’s fighting career?
According to Rousey, she’s going to take some time off to think about what her future holds. She released the following statement to ESPN on Saturday, the day after the match:
“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.”
Nunes thinks Rousey should call it quits. “That’s it for her. For sure, she’s going to retire. She can’t take it anymore. If she wants the rematch, I’m going to do the same thing, because she can’t take my punches.”
The now two-time champion admitted she felt sorry for Rousey after landing 27 punches on her in 48 seconds. She said the stress of Rousey’s first loss, her acting career, and other responsibilities combined to “pressure her too much.”
Suspended former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones thinks otherwise. “My advice to Ronda would be to pick yourself up and try again. I think it’s important for Ronda to show her fans how great she truly is by displaying her courage and giving it another try.”
Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who is also Rousey’s friend, was surprised at the way Friday’s fight turned out. She said Rousey might be better off getting a new coach and going back to her roots.
“At the end of the day, I’m her friend, and my heart goes out to her, so I don’t want to sit here and talk about what she could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done. I really just hope she’s OK. … I think she really does need to do some soul searching. She needs to figure out what she wants to do with her life and what she wants to accomplish and what really makes Ronda happy.
“I think she has a lot of people around her who maybe don’t have Ronda’s best interests at heart. So I think she should take a good, hard look at that and maybe go back to the Day Ones. Maybe go back to her family. Maybe go back to her original coaches who helped her be successful and maybe say, ‘OK, these people I know really do care about me as Ronda – not as a fighter, not as a money-making machine, not as an actress, not as a celebrity, but as Ronda.”