UFC champion Ronda Rousey promises she will be “back” after suffering arguably the most shocking defeat in the history of mixed marshal arts this weekend.
Rousey, who had been undefeated after a dozen dominant fights, was knocked out in the second round on Sunday at UFC 193 by her unbeaten challenger Holly Holm. Now the fight is drawing comparisons to heavyweight Buster Douglas’ historic upset of Mike Tyson 25 years ago, and there is swirling speculation about the injuries Rousey sustained and whether there will be a rematch with Holm.
“I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and support,” Rousey wrote on Instagram late on Sunday. “I appreciate the concerns about my health, but I’m fine. As I mentioned before I am going to take a little bit of time, but I’ll be back.”
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The 28-year-old Rousey has become a breakout crossover star and has elevated the popularity of the UFC fighting with her formidable presence in the ring — and glamorous image outside of it.
Recently, Rousey sparked headlines for her statements totally unrelated to her sport. She came out in support of Bernie Sanders in an interview with Maxim magazine, citing his willingness to refuse corporate donations. In that same interview, she expressed disenchantment with the two party system, admitting she voted for comedian Roseanne Barr in 2012. And for weeks she has been engaged in a not-so-cold war of words with polarizing boxing star Floyd Mayweather, due to his controversial history of domestic violence. Mayweather mocked Rousey’s defeat, with an assist from rapper 50 Cent, on Instagram:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump also appeared to take pleasure in Rousey’s defeat. “Glad to see that @RondaRousey lost her championship fight last night. Was soundly beaten - not a nice person!” Trump tweeted on Sunday. Rousey had previously said she wouldn’t back Trump for president because she didn’t want “a reality star running my country.” The real estate mogul had claimed in the past that he had the UFC champion’s support.
Rousey had been floating the possibility of retiring within the next three years from the brutal world of mixed martial arts. She already has appeared in a couple major motion pictures, and is signed on to assume the late Patrick Swayze’s lead role in an upcoming remake in the 1989 cult classic B-movie “Road House.”
According to The Washington Post, the UFC’s president confirmed that Rousey did receive plastic surgery for a deep lip cut, but was not diagnosed with a concussion, as was widely speculated following the fight. Holm has said she is willing to fight Rousey again.
“There’s always a good confidence knowing you did it once,” Holm told the Los Angeles Times. “A rematch is different. I had a brutal knockout [loss in a 2011 boxing match] and wanted that rematch so bad, and I avenged my loss.
“So going into a rematch, there’s a confidence for the winner of the first fight, but the other is coming with a whole different heart and a whole different mind-set. It’s a scarier fight. I’d train as hard or not harder.”