There is a saying, “No matter how good you are, there is always someone better.” Ronda Rousey has learned that, twice now, and in her defeats, maybe the rest of the world can take a lesson away from it, even if she does not.
Rousey had the world in her hands. The first women’s bantamweight champion for the UFC, a 12-0 record, rumors that she was going to fight, and beat, Floyd Mayweather. She won the ESPY for Best Female Athlete, and had started to make an impact in Hollywood with roles in Furious 7, The Expendables 3, and had other projects lined up. She was on top of the world, wanted even by a Marine as his date to the Marine Ball and was on one of the covers of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.
Then reality set in. Reality that Ronda Rousey was not the best in the world. Maybe she let training slide because of the movie deals, or modeling, or talk show appearances, but the top athlete in the sport was not longer the best, and she learned that in November 2015 stepping into the octagon with Holly Holm. Following a second round knockout by Holm, Rousey’s world started to crumble around her.
Immediately, she was questioning who she was if she was not the best. She revealed on The Ellen Show that she thought about suicide. However, Forbes reported that her relationship with Travis Browne, another UFC fighter, helped her out of the dark place she fell to. She wanted to stay alive to be with him, to start a family with him, and she started to pick herself back up, but it was not going to be a quick process.
The UFC gave her two months to heal from the Holm fight. They wanted their golden girl back fighting as quick as possible, bounce back from the loss and start the new year as the two-time champion, but the emotional bruises were too deep, taking an additional 11 months of mental healing for her to feel like she was ready to step into the octagon again. Her first fight back would be against Amanda Nunes, the fighter currently wearing the championship belt Rousey lost to Holm over a year ago. It was her chance to come back and prove that she could still be on top.
While Rousey showed up looking more muscular than her last fight, more trim, in better shape, there was something obviously not right with her. She did not look comfortable in the ring. While she landed a couple of defensive punches, Nunes finished the fight quick with a 48 second TKO, and quite possibly ending Rousey’s career.
Armchair managers can question how Rousey came back, saying that she needed a couple warm up, lower card fights to get ready for a title fight again. Or that she was just away too long, did not train enough, or maybe trained too much. There are a lot of theories running around and in reality, Ronda Rousey learned that no matter how good she was there is someone looking to knock her off her podium and they have that ability. People around the world should understand this is true in any profession, not just MMA or sports. One can be the best at what they do, but there will always be someone out there who is better, and given the chance, they will try to knock the best off the podium and take their title as the best.
What will Ronda Rousey do now? Will she fight again? If she does fight again, is it a must win? Or do you think Rowdy will take her abilities to the WWE for a second career? Will she get out of professional fighting all together? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood
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