Ronda Rousey has been a source of wild speculation since getting knocked out at UFC 193 in November. At the time, few expected her unbeaten challenger to dominate her before finishing with one of the most brutal head kicks in UFC history.
But that’s what happened, and since then, analysts and fans have been wondering when Ronda will return. She no-showed the post-fight press conference in spite of later revealing that her injuries were not a cause for great concern.
Other fighters, including Ronda’s last victim, Bethe Correia, were able to show up to post-fight pressers in spite of getting knocked out.
After that, it would be around Thanksgiving — close to two weeks later — before fans would get a glimpse of her face on social media. They missed that chance in the days immediately following the fight because Rousey hid her battered visage at LAX Airport upon reentering the country.
She has issued one interview to ESPN Magazine, but that, along with other statements, were pushed through the protective veil of print and online news sources as well as third parties like UFC President Dana White.
The MMA fighter, who became a pop culture superstar and never turned down a photo-op or video interview, has almost disappeared completely.
The original prediction for her return was UFC 200 later this year. However, Ronda Rousey recently informed White that she would need more time off.
In a recent interview reported by BroBible, “Wink” said that the Holm-Rousey rematch would happen, assuming the former UFC Bantamweight Champion “has the guts” to face Holm again.
Of his own fighter, Wink said she “has fought five times in one year, so she’s active” and said she comes with a “Cowboy Cerrone mentality where she just wants to fight and get through this thing.”
Winkeljohn continued, “She likes to fight. So in a perfect world, that’d be fantastic. Let’s have her fight, go fight whoever they give us. Show the world that it’s not one-and-done with Holly Holm, that she can destroy the next person. And then, if Ronda has the guts to do it again, let’s do it again for some big money. And that’s great for those girls.”
Winkeljohn seems to have his doubts that Ronda Rousey will ever come back to the cage, implying that there is a philosophical “heart problem,” and Rousey fans should be concerned by that.
The coach knows how a fighter who is “down but not out” responds to adversity. He has seen it in his own fighter.
When Holly Holm suffered a crushing knockout to Anne Sophie Mathis a few years ago, he had Holm back in the ring with Mathis in her very next fight, and Holm won.
Holm has credited Winkeljohn with being a big motivator for her finding the courage to step back into the ring so soon. In previous comments reported on by the Inquisitr, Holm recalled what Wink said to her right after the loss.
He first told her that she was definitely going to take the rematch.
“Muhammad Ali’s a legend,” Holm said, recalling his words. “He’s been knocked down, and he came back. Why am I any different?”
When the news station asked Holm if she thought Ronda Rousey was going through that same crisis, she said that she believed Rousey was, stating that you “don’t be on top for that long” without feeling that way.
“I know for me, I thought if I don’t give myself this opportunity for a rematch, it’s going to bother me for the rest of my life… I hate that I’ve been on the other end of it, but it was a life-changing experience for me, and I really learned a lot about myself and other people,” Holm said.
Unfortunately, Ronda Rousey is approaching her defeat with the opposite reaction, and that does not bode well for a return to the UFC or MMA, ever.
But what do you think, readers?
Will Ronda Rousey ever fight again, and if so, do you see it being a real comeback or one-and-done to take advantage of what would be one last massive payday? Sound off in the comments section.
[Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]