Ronda Rousey may have suffered a terrible defeat in the ring, but her actions following that fight against current UFC champion Holly Holm have earned Rousey the respect and admiration of both fans and critics. Often, when a competitor suffers as devastating a defeat as Ronda has, shame forces her (or him) into hiding, shying away from attention and cameras, but not Ms. Rousey. Since that fight, she has been putting herself out there that much more, proving that she won’t be put away quite so easily. She’s appeared as a guest host on Saturday Night Live, posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and, most recently, poured her heart out on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Ronda Rousey is brought to tears, as she describes her UFC defeat
The former UFC champ seemed to be taking things in stride, showing her most gracious and appealing side, as she talked with Ellen DeGeneres in a recent interview, but that cheery demeanor suddenly vanished, as she opened up about her loss to Holly Holm. Ronda talked about feeling that first blow to the face and the effects that lasted well into the following day. She says all of her teeth felt loose and her head throbbed, leaving her disoriented and almost unaware that she was still in the ring. Rousey says she tried to act as though nothing was wrong, because she knew Holm would have taken advantage of any weaknesses she spied in her opponent.
Alone in her hospital room, following that fight, Ronda recalled feeling lost and depressed. She says she wouldn’t know what to do with her life, if she could no longer fight.
“In that exact second, I’m like, ‘I’m nothing. What do I do anymore?” Ms. Rousey said, as she began crying. “No one gives a s**t about me anymore without this.'”
Moments later, she confessed something that most celebrities or sports professionals would never admit to on camera and almost as rarely in their personal lives.
“Honestly… I was sitting in the corner and was like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?’ ” Ronda said. “I was literally sitting there thinking about killing myself.”
As Ellen said at the time of the confession, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to admit to something like that in such a public forum, but it was as good for the public to hear as it was for Ronda to get it off her chest. Even more inspiring was the way in which Ronda came out of her depression, looking up at her boyfriend and fellow UFC fighter Travis Browne and finding comfort in the idea of a future with him.
There was also something else that inspired Ronda Rousey to want to live.
“Of course I want to fight Holly,” Ronda told DeGeneres. “I want to beat her and make everything right again.”
Holly Holm reacts to Ronda Rousey’s challenge of a rematch
The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner, and that’s something Holly Holm seems to empathize with, because, speaking of Ronda Rousey, she’s not nearly as bitter or combative as one might expect. In fact, Holm knows that suffering a defeat such as the one Ronda suffered at her hands can create its own, unique mental anguishes. Holly knows, because she suffered her own brutal loss in KO to Ann Sophie Mathis in 2011.
“A lot of things that people said, depending on who it was and who maybe experienced that were like, ‘Oh, I know what you’re going through.’ I’m like, ‘You don’t really know what I’m going through because it’s a different situation.’ Every situation is different.”
Upon hearing Rousey’s remarks on Ellen, Holm said that she sympathizes with her former opponent and hoped that Ronda has as good of a support system around her that Holly had for herself. She added that it is difficult for her to comment on Rousey’s pain and especially on Ronda’s confession that she had contemplated suicide, because it’s difficult to know how to react.
“I feel like that’s something the best thing is for me not to say anything at all,” Holly said of Rousey’s admissions to Ellen DeGeneres. “I don’t want to say that I’m glad that she felt that way and I don’t want to say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ It’s something I think that you have to dig through on your own. In the long run, she’ll be stronger mentally from it.”
[Image by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon]