Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey appeared to be laser-focused on her return at UFC 207 after more than a year out of action following a devastating knockout loss to Holly Holm in November of 2015.
Unfortunately for Rousey and her supporters, she was never able to get anything going and was torched by title holder Amanda Nunes in under a minute.
Rousey did not give access to the media leading up to her fight and the media blackout led to some criticism, but on Saturday evening the former champion broke her silence and issued a statement to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
In her statement, Rousey shared her appreciation of the support she has received, while being noncommittal about her future in the sport.
Rousey’s statement read:
“I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me,” Rousey told ESPN.
“Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.
“I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”
Many believe Rousey will now turn her attention to her entertainment career.
If this is the end of Rousey in mixed martial arts career, she should be remembered as a trailblazer and one of the most influential figures in modern day MMA. Before Rousey, women could have never dreamed of stepping into the UFC’s Octagon and mainstream media would scoff at the idea of featuring a UFC story on its front page.
Now, the UFC is coming off of its most successful year in company history which included the sale of the promotion for a whopping $4 billion.
Rousey has nothing to hang her head over.
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