It’s been three days since Ronda Rousey suffered the UFC 193 kick heard round the world that stripped Ronda of her title and declared Holly Holm the new champion. While many have taken the opportunity to pounce on Rousey such as Miesha Tate and Beth Correia, declaring Ronda an “overrated” fighter despite their past losses to her, Rousey is finding support from two surprising sources — Holly Holm, the very woman who beat Rousey, and undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, who has been in a war of words with Ronda for months.
Holm has been humble in her victory over Rousey, recently reminding listeners in a recent ESPN radio interview that were it not for Ronda Rousey’s skill, Dana White may still be shutting the door on the opportunity for female MMA fighters. But it was perhaps Holm’s comments to TMZ Sports that surprised the most people. When asked how Holm felt about the amount of backlash Rousey has been receiving over the loss, Holm had this to say:
“Ronda has been a very dominant champ and she’s taken the sport to new levels. And, this fight would not have happened if she hadn’t accomplished what she’s accomplished so I have a lot of respect for her,” Holm started before continuing about the pride she felt in her own dominating victory. Then Holly continued, “Ya know, I think people can be pretty brutal and when you’re in the spot that she’s in there are people that are just going to jump ship and I don’t ever wish for that,” indicating that even Holm was unimpressed with the gloating others were taking in kicking Ronda Rousey while she was down.
As Holm remained gracious despite Rousey’s pre-fight comments, many were waiting to see what a more vocal Ronda Rousey adversary, Floyd Mayweather, would have to say about her dethroning.
According to MMAJunkie, the verbal mudslinging between Rousey and Mayweather started earlier this year when Ronda, who was offended by Floyd’s comment that he didn’t know who she was, took the opportunity to call him out at the ESPYs after she beat him out for the “Best Fighter.” Not one to shy away from a confrontation, Rousey’s video retort of taking home the trophy went viral in which Ronda not only rubbed the win in Mayweather’s face but also brought up the subject of domestic violence which had been hovering over the boxer.
“I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” Rousey said. “I’d like to see you pretend to not know who I am now.”
Ronda’s verbal jab resulted in a lot of back and forth trash talk between her and Floyd in the ensuing months, but when it came to Rousey’s devastating loss, Mayweather actually jumped in with words of encouragement and the offer to help develop Rousey’s skills.
In an interview with FightHype, Mayweather first commended both female fighters, “I’m proud of the new girl, Holly, and I’m proud of Ronda.” Then Floyd went on to encourage Rousey to ignore those that were berating her performance, ” I want Ronda Rousey to hold her head up high and don’t let this discourage you. If you need help as far as with boxing, I’m here to help you. It’s all about timing and inches. Her (Rousey’s) ground game is unbelievable. She’ll be okay.”
Mayweather also defended Ronda Rousey’s choice to take a break from the fighting game for a bit, a move which many feel is Rousey’s way of avoiding a Holm rematch out of fear. “I think that she needs some time off to regroup and refocus. I think they’re rushing her. They need to build Ronda Rousey back up, her confidence back up, even though I think she’s probably still confident. Let Holly fight, defend the title a few times, and build it.”
[Ronda Rousey cover image courtesy of Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.]