Ronda Rousey’s UFC career isn’t over yet

Justin Faux Columnist

By Justin Faux, Justin Faux is a Roar Expert

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    After a brutal, one-sided loss to Brazilian destroyer Amanda Nunes, the fighting future of Ronda Rousey is anything but certain.

    “I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future,” Rousey said in a statement released to ESPN following her second-straight embarrassing loss.

    The fighter who was once considered so unstoppable that she topped Serena Williams in a fan-determined poll of the greatest female athletes ever was simply no match for Nunes, who blew Rousey’s doors off in just 48 seconds.

    The iron-fisted puncher and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt stunned the UFC’s most popular fighter within seconds and continued to pour on the punishment until referee Herb Dean rescued Rousey early in the first round.

    The American Top Team-trained UFC queen – who became the first fighter other than Rousey to defend the women’s 135-pound crown – believes this is the final chapter in the former champion’s career.

    “Yeah that’s it for her,” Nunes said after the fight. “She can’t take it anymore. If she wanted a rematch, it would be the same thing. She can’t take my punches.”

    It’s a sentiment that has been echoed by most industry experts in the wake of the former Olympian’s second defeat as a prizefighter, but I have a hard time believing that UFC 207 was Rousey’s last stand.

    Granted, since getting her brain rattled by American boxer Holly Holm, Rousey has done nothing to disprove the widely-believed theory that she is a mentally fragile – perhaps even broken – fighter.

    Not to mention, she has a healthy bank account – having pocketed US$3 million in show money, and likely a few more in pay-per-view revenue after Saturday – and an irrefutable legacy as one of the most important fighters in combat sports history.

    Rousey only has one reason to go back: her own fiercely competitive nature – something her mother Dr AnnMaria DeMars detailed on her blog.

    DeMars wrote: “All of those who have criticized Ronda for taking a loss so to heart, for not just ‘shrugging it off’ don’t understand that what made Ronda so successful is that she cares DEEPLY about winning to an extent that I don’t believe the average person can wrap his/her head around.”

    Most of us see a person with untold riches and nothing left to prove as a fighter get their brains beaten in, and think they should retire because that’s what we would do in their shoes.

    Pro fighters don’t operate like that.

    Chuck Liddell – a fighter Dana White gave a desk job so he wouldn’t continue to fight and risk full-blown brain damage in 2010 – still thinks he can whoop Jon Jones.

    Roy Nelson copped 130 significant strikes from Brazilian bomber Junior dos Santos – with 95 percent of those to the head – during their three-rounder at UFC 117. His conclusion? He didn’t lose, he just ran out of time.

    “If I’d had two extra rounds, it could have been a different fight.” He said, and he actually meant it.

    Rousey may be wealthier than your average fighter and have offers to play fight in the WWE or action flicks, but she isn’t any less ambitious (or delusional).

    The 29-year-old former champ is “taking some time to reflect and think about the future” right now. After a few weeks, she might even announce a retirement, but I doubt Rousey will stay away forever.

    Justin Faux
    Justin Faux

    Justin Faux is a seasoned combat sports scribe. Covering mixed martial arts and boxing since 2007, Justin has been published on NineMSN Australia, Fox Sports, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and dozens of other outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @justinfauxmma.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • January 2nd 2017 @ 7:52am
      Swampy said | January 2nd 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      It might help her if she had a better fight strategist in her corner. Standing up and fighting seems to be somewhat of an error in tactics.

      Young sports evolve quickly. Anointing anyone as the potential greatest of all time in the early development years of a sport is a bold position indeed. As participation numbers explode, training regimes and technology improve and overall skills and tactics evolve it is very easy for the Chuck Liddell’s and Rhonda Rousey’s of the world have their sports pass them by quickly. George Mikan’s 1950’s Lakers dynasty were quickly deposed by the 1960’s Celtics in the early days of the NBA. There are many more historical examples as young sports evolve.

      Rousey may comeback but if she does it will require some evolution otherwise she will very much go the way of the dinosaurs

      • Columnist

        January 2nd 2017 @ 4:40pm
        Justin Faux said | January 2nd 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

        Ronda Rousey is/was a one-trick pony, but the best one-trick pony we’ve seen in MMA since the Gracies were strangling folks left and right between 93-98.

        I agree that Rousey needs to take that next step in her evolution. Truth be told, she could’ve made drastic improvements in areas of her game during her 13-month hiatus but Amanda Nunes gave her no chance to display it.

    • Roar Guru

      January 2nd 2017 @ 11:52am
      BigJ said | January 2nd 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

      I think she should get out now while see still can and not become one of those ex champions that ends up becoming dead meat for new up comers. Roused has proved she can’t react when hit so unless she can get hit and fight back which is the cornerstone of mma her career is pretty much over. Plus she can do other things like wwe and movies so no need to continue to get her head kicked in anymore

      • Columnist

        January 2nd 2017 @ 4:42pm
        Justin Faux said | January 2nd 2017 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

        I agree that she should call it a career and start a fresh chapter in life as a burgeoning Hollywood action starlet or WWE wrestler or whatever-the-hell else she chooses, but I just can’t see her stepping away for good.

    • January 2nd 2017 @ 2:48pm
      Simoc said | January 2nd 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

      Why did she box when she obviously can’t? Holyfield offered to help, presumably to train her in not getting hit. It looks like she needs to take the opponent to ground immediately to avoid that. Anyway she needs to smarten up or retire.

      • Columnist

        January 2nd 2017 @ 4:46pm
        Justin Faux said | January 2nd 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

        I’m willing to give Rousey a slight pass here, mainly because Nunes knocked her loopy within ten seconds. It isn’t as simple as ‘don’t box’ because without striking there is no way to close the distance and set up a takedown or throw.

        Rousey is a swarmer by nature – she darts forward and recklessly throws punches, forcing opponents to back up and usually allows her to get inside. At UFC 207, she just had no chance to even try.

    • January 2nd 2017 @ 6:19pm
      Kavvy said | January 2nd 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

      Justin I agree that there is a good chance she’ll fight again, though I like most people would retire if i were in her shoes.

      While I agree with comments that she got in in the early days of the sport and it has evolved quickly in that time to maybe pass her by surely you’d agree she could have done significantly better if she ditched Edmond and got a real coach?

      I’d like to see if her game could/would evolve after a decent time at a real camp. If she’d been at Jacksons since losing to Holly she still might’ve lost to Nunes (probably), but no way it would’ve ended in 48 seconds.

    • Roar Guru

      January 4th 2017 @ 5:04am
      Bones506 said | January 4th 2017 @ 5:04am | ! Report

      I think Rousey is mentally done.

      She has not evolved at all and was buying into her boxing/Striking. Bad foot movement. No head movement and was circling the wrong way into Nunes.

      Her coach is not a striker.

      Why contiunue fighting – so and make B grade films for 3-4mil a pop. Not a bad way to earn a crust of bread rather than getting popped int he face.

    • June 29th 2017 @ 2:14pm
      James said | June 29th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

      I think Rhonda carrier is not over. She needs to change camps. Her coach tried to make her believe she could stand up and box with these boxing pros. And that cannot be taught in two years. I have my black belt and kick boxed on a competive level. And blue belt jujitsu. She needs to train and stick to her strengths. Get the take down. I say change camps. And come back one more time. And believe me. I have never been a fan of hers ever. But I kind of feel sorry for her. Rhonda change camps. Get back to what made you a champion. Concentrate in long stretches stance. Not flat foot. Get faster on your feet. Train in foot work fast. And get that component to the ground Asap. Grace is headed your way. But change camps. You need a change

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