The mythological strength and fighting ability of Ronda Rousey is now officially over. The once dominant UFC Women’s champ may have stepped into the ring for the final time on Friday, December 30, 2016. After a year away from competitive fighting following a highly surprising upset title loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193, the 29-year-old returned to the ring to face Amanda Nunes, UFC bantamweight champion. Rousey used a media blackout, making many think that she was only focused on getting back to her dominating form. However, that was far from the case when the bell rang to start the match.
One touch by Nunes and it was over. The reigning champion used a flurry of punches to throw Rousey off-balance, and 48 seconds later, it was over by TKO. According to The Washington Post, the fight was brutal, ugly and shocking. What stated off as career that looked like no one, woman or man, who stepped into the cage with her would walk out victorious suddenly took a bad turn with the loss to Holm, but now, the loss to Nunes, in 48 seconds, it is likely the Ronda Rousey will never, ever step into the octagon again.
A theory floating around is that going into the loss to Holm, Rousey was over-confident. Making movies, a number of television talk show appearances, YouTube videos showing her training in a Pokemon Pikachu costume, it was like she was not taking things seriously. While everyone knows that the Rocky films are just movies, there is one thing that Ronda Rousey should have taken away from the films. When training for a comeback fight, especially after getting beat the last time, every waking moment should be training. For a champion, there should not be movies, no Expendables, no Fast and Furious sequel, she should have focused only on the next fight, whether it was a week away or a year away. Every day should have been about getting stronger, faster, and mentally becoming a dominating force. That is how she should have gone into the Holm fight, and that is definitely what she should have been doing this past year preparing for her comeback.
Rousey was overconfident with Holm. Holm was not a UFC or MMA fighter at heart. She was a boxer who made the transition over. A MMA fighter in a MMA match should be able to take out any boxer, but with her reach and Rousey’s overconfidence, it was a loss that would haunt the former champion forever. Then, not fighting for a year, supposedly training, following a bad case of depression after losing her championship, what entered the octagon Friday night was not the same Ronda Rousey. She looked stiff and lost. Why did she not have at least a couple lower card fights, get herself use to fighting again. Why jump right back into the fray with Nunes? It may have ended up being a career killer for the former champion.
What will Rousey do now? If she is smart, she will walk away. Not dwell on the loss. She should bask in the fact that for a brief period of time she was untouchable. She was the most feared fighter in the UFC, but those days are gone. Do not let depression take hold, move on to something new. Whether it be acting, becoming a stunt woman, or even a fight choreographer, she has the opportunity to do a lot right now. However, she could go back to school, start a whole new career away from UFC and MMA. But she should stay out of the octagon. As an example, look at Mike Tyson. He was a beast. Unbeatable, until one day he faced his own Holly Holm in one Buster Douglas. After that loss, Tyson should have walked away from boxing. Instead, he turned into a joke, a sideshow freak who bit part of Evander Holyfield’s ear off. If Rousey keeps fighting, she risks becoming the UFC’s Mike Tyson.
What do you think? Should Ronda Rousey return to the octagon again? Or is she better off moving forward with her life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood
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