On November 15, 2015, Holly Holm stunned the world. More importantly, she stunned “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Rousey was seen by some as the toughest woman fighter on the planet. Others called her the most dominant athlete alive — with apologies to one Serena Williams.
Rousey was the UFC’s first Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and it was starting to look like the title would be hers indefinitely. Then came the upset, one began a prolonged absence for Ronda from the sport.
It was several months before the fighter made a public appearance, addressing the loss when she hosted Saturday Night Live.
Later, Ronda Rousey sat down with Ellen Degeneres. During her interview, Rousey admitted to suicidal thoughts and being really mentally damaged by her defeat.
The negative emotions eventually gave way to a desire to return to the Octagon. Once Rousey was forced to wait out a mandatory medical suspension, she would surely be back, right?
Well, that question is becoming harder to answer. LowKickMMA reports that Ronda Rousey underwent a drug test issued by the USADA a couple of weeks ago. That’s the only sizeable blip that Rousey has made on the UFC radar as of late. There was heavy speculation that Ronda would return to action at UFC 205. However, ESPN writes this won’t be the case for the former UFC champion.
“[UFC President Dana White] has repeatedly stated Rousey intends to fight again, but told the ‘UFC Unfiltered’ podcast that return fight will definitely not take place in the UFC’s highly anticipated card in New York.
“‘She’s definitely not fighting in New York,’ White said. ‘I’m actually going to start building the New York card this week.'”
UFC 205 is set for November; with Ronda Rousey not making that fight card, it’s safe to say she probably won’t be fighting at any point in 2016. By the time that PPV roles around, it would represent a full year since anyone saw Ronda fight.
— Team Rousey (@ArmbarNation) September 11, 2016
So where is Ronda Rousey? Well, that depends on where you’re looking. Ronda Rousey did appear in a funny commercial for MetroPCS, a cell phone service.
The ad aired during the televised portion of UFC 203. It also at least allowed Rousey to return to the consciousness of fight fans. Where Ronda Rousey is regarding returning to UFC action is a harder question to answer.
— Pro Wrestling Slam (@PWrestlingSlam) September 10, 2016
We may well have underestimated just how devastating the loss to Holly Holm was. With Ronda admitting to suicidal thoughts, it may be that she needs a bit more downtime and training before she’s prepared to accept a fight.
When she does come back, will she be mentally up to the challenge?
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 6, 2016
Fighters have come back from losses and gone on to be more dangerous in the future. Georges St-Pierre is a classic example of this. First GSP recovered from a submission loss to Matt Hughes. Like Ronda, this marked his first UFC defeat. However, after two years and five fights later he earned a rematch and won the UFC Welterweight title.
If Ronda Rousey is down about her chances, she can look at the GSP’s comeback as inspiration for her own UFC journey.
The good news for Ronda? Since her UFC 193 upset, the Woman’s Bantamweight Championship refuses to settle into one champion’s hands. Both Holly Holm and Miesha Tate lost the belt during their sole title defenses. That now means there are three ex-champions in that division.
There is an opportunity for Rousey to return and re-establish her dominance. According to the Daily Caller, Dana White believes that when Rousey does get around to returning to action, it will be the biggest event in the history of the sport.
— Visvya Entertainment (@visvyaent) September 11, 2016
Do you think Ronda Rousey will return to the UFC or is she likely done for good? Share your thoughts below!
[Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Buffalo David Bitton]