Will we ever see Ronda Rousey again?

Following her 48-second knockout loss at UFC 207, it looks like its lights out for Ronda Rousey.

Meryl D'Souza January 2, 2017

“She’s the most mentally strong athlete that I’ve met in my life,” said UFC president Dana White shortly after a plastic surgeon – whom White had specially flown in from Australia – had finished working on Ronda Rousey’s lip after she lost her UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 193 in Melbourne about 13 months ago.

Losses are never easy to accept. For athletes like Rousey who leave no stone unturned in their quest to stand tall at the top of the pile, losses are devastating. For Rousey, that loss to Holm was the first time she ever tasted defeat in her career. It’s no wonder she succumbed to seclusion and depression.

On Friday, Rousey’s returned to the Octagon for the first time since her loss. The return was not an easy one for the UFC to pull off. Where the UFC yanked Conor McGregor from its UFC 202 match card for refusing to do his media rounds, the company bowed to Rousey’s demands of not having to do any media.

Aside from a couple of interview slots with Conan and Ellen, Rousey avoided the media like a plague. Of course, her lack of camera time didn’t hurt the UFC 207 event. The sell-out crowd paid a gate of $4.75 million and the pay-per-view seems to have notched up in excess of $1 million sales. 

Despite all the hoopla, incumbent champion Amanda Nunes blew Rousey away in 48 seconds. In truth, the fight was over in the opening 15 seconds when Nunes landed a big right that rocked Rousey. After that, Nunes picked Rousey apart, hitting her with one powerful striker after another until referee Herb Dean stopped the bout.

As it always has, social media was first to rub salt on Rousey’s fresh wounds. Sometimes it feels like the internet, Twitter especially, only exists to celebrate a famous person’s failings. Leading the schadenfreude jubilation was Justin Bieber. And although the Canadian pop star got away with a selfie when he toed a similar line with Nate Diaz, we doubt Rousey would be as accommodating.

Just like she did after the Holm fight, Rousey cold-shouldered the media after her loss to Nunes. Her failure to speak for her second fight in a row after losing made her look petty. While no one can take away what Rousey has done for women in the world of mixed martial arts, her time as champion is up. Now the question is, will she step back into the Octagon after back-to-back defeats?

The smart money would say she wouldn’t. Rousey walked away with a whooping $3 million from the fight. With her upcoming Hollywood flicks (Mile 22 and Road House), that sum will only multiply. Nunes essentially announced Rousey’s retirement for her.

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

Who knew that after everything 2016 took away from us, it would even take away Ronda Rousey’s UFC career.

Fighters who never came back after a loss.

  • Seth Petruzelli
  • Miesha Tate
  • Chuck Liddell
  • Kyle Noke
  • Jason Miller