Ronda Rousey’s fight against her own doubts after losing to Holly Holm has come full circle. She is just now giving the appearance of a recovery. She seems to finally be growing from the experience, despite all the taunting by Miesha Tate about Rousey’s inability to bounce back. Rousey wants to re-enter the octagon as a renewed individual. She now knows that only by learning to take a loss can you truly learn to accept victory.
Rousey wrote an essay for Refinery29 hoping to inspire all the young women with imperfect lives that look up to her.
“What is real are imperfections. What builds character and toughness is struggle. What makes us better and more human is attempting something, coming up short, and then trying it again.”
She is finally giving all her fans a look into her mental process in overcoming her devastating defeat. She, in fact, proves that she has lost some of her trademark arrogance, and in its place, she gained maturity. Rousey first began training to fight as a way to escape the awkwardness of not being the perfect girl. She drifted towards judo in order to do something she liked and escaped those self-perceptions that ate away at her confidence.
Since losing the Holly Holm fight, Ronda Rousey lost the winning feeling that gave her confidence while she was growing up. Her judo skills failed her against an opponent superior in striking, and she had to once again find the confidence to carry on in life. The essay reveals she had to dig deep and come up with something she could share with young women everywhere.
She further told Refinery29 her views on the unattainable female quest for perfection.
“And when I see little girls rocking their jellies and tutus in the supermarket, I think about the unapologetic confidence I used to have in my jeans and T-shirts. That’s before I started trying to be perfect, and well before I found a passion that embraced my flaws and gave me shots at redemption. I’m not trying to inspire you take up martial arts or be anything you’re not. But there was a time in your life when you didn’t care about being perfect. Maybe you didn’t quite understand the way the world worked then, but you also didn’t care what anyone thought. I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that you don’t need to be perfect to be valid. Your flaws — your unsuccessful attempts at greatness or even mediocrity — are real. They make you better. And that’s beautiful because it’s never perfect.”
Rousey’s former belt, the bantamweight championship, has very quickly bounced around to different women who can’t seem to manage even one successful title defense. It’s made for very exciting UFC women’s fights, but it’s also clear that none of them can defend the championship the way Rousey did. It’s clear that the belt still hasn’t found a worthy holder. Rousey defended the belt six times when she had it, and according to Fox Sports, at a recent conference, she revealed she is absolutely obsessed with winning back the belt she feels belongs to her.
The UFC invited Ronda Rousey to fight Amanda Nunes for the championship belt, but no definite plans have been set. Rousey is perhaps waiting to see if any other woman fighter can actually hold onto the belt for any length of time before she decides to step back in and try to take it back.
Rousey has another looming threat in women’s MMA. Fans eventually want to see her fight Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. Such a fight hasn’t been able to happen due to weight class differences and because Cristiane only recently came into the UFC after dominating Invicta. If Justino can make the 135-pound weight limit, then Ronda Rousey’s next fight could be against an even tougher opponent than any of the current top-ranked UFC women.
[Photo by Isaac Brekken/AP Images]