New UFC rumors claim that Ronda Rousey may be forced to retire after her crushing loss to Amanda Nunes in what was supposed to be Rousey’s triumphant return to the octagon after more than a year out of action.
Rousey spent close to 14 months recovering from a brutal head kick knockout to Holly Holm last year, and Friday’s UFC 207 was supposed to be the start of the former champion’s comeback. But instead, Rousey ended up lasting only 48 seconds in a brutal beatdown to hard-striking Amanda Nunes, a loss that has raised serious questions about Rousey’s long-term health and prospects in the UFC.
The Sporting News columnist Steven Muehlhausen noted that Rousey’s loss made it clear that the fast-paced UFC has left her behind, and that her fighting style may never be sustainable again.
“The big knock on Rousey after the loss to Holm was not speaking after the fight. So instead of accepting defeat, Rousey once again refused to speak. This makes her look weak. She had no problem accepting the glory we all heaped upon her after each victory, but she continues to act like a sore loser when she doesn’t get the desired result. You have to accept the good with the bad.
“But she didn’t evolve. Her stubborness did her in. MMA is an ever-growing sport. You have to grow. Rousey became predictable, and watching UFC 207 made it evident she has no reason to still be fighting.”
There were many others reaching the same conclusion, noting that Ronda Rousey may have been too shaken by her back-to-back stunning losses to keep fighting, and that retirement may be the only option.
“Fighters don’t dare enter the octagon without their confidence fully intact. Rousey’s confidence is shattered beyond repair based on what’s already known,” wrote Josh Peter of USA Today.
Even Rousey’s opponent, Amanda Nunes, speculated that Rousey would have to retire after the bruising loss and her sudden inability to defend herself in the octagon.
“Yeah, that’s it for her. For sure she’s going to retire,” Nunes told FOX Sports at the post-fight press conference. “She can’t take anymore.
“If she wants the rematch, I’m going to do the same thing. Because she can’t take my punches.”
There had already been rumors floating around the UFC that Ronda Rousey may have been forced to retire after her loss to Holm. Rousey was hospitalized after the knockout, and her recovery took months in which it wasn’t clear if she would be healthy enough to fight again.
Rousey herself said she hit rock bottom during that time, saying she even contemplated suicide as she thought about a future without the UFC.
“Honestly, my thought in the medical room, I was sitting in the corner and was like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?'” Rousey said in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “Literally sitting there thinking about killing myself. In that exact second, I’m like, ‘I’m nothing. What do I do anymore? No one gives a s— about me anymore without this.'”
Rousey ultimately returned to the ring, but it wasn’t with the gusto she had in previous matches. After feeling abandoned by the UFC following her loss to Holm, Rousey refused to do any press before her match against Nunes.
While the rumors that Ronda Rousey may have to retire continue to spread, many experts believe she could have another place in the UFC. With her cross-over appeal and natural on-screen presence, many believe Rousey could fit in well as an analyst for the league, where she could still serve as one of it’s biggest stars in a different context.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]