“I got hit in that first round. … I cut my lip open and knocked a couple of my teeth loose. I was out on my feet from the very beginning. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I had that huge cut in my mouth and I just spit [the blood] out at my feet. Then they brought the bucket over and I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I spit it in the bucket?’ I never spit on the ground. It was like a dumbed-down dreamy version of yourself making decisions. … I was just trying to shake myself out of it. I kept saying to myself, ‘You’re OK, keep fighting. You’re OK, keep fighting.’ I just feel so embarrassed. How I fought after that is such an embarrassing representation of myself. I wasn’t even fucking there… I need to come back. I need to beat this chick. Who knows if I’m going to pop my teeth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open. I have to fucking do it.”
-In a new lengthy profile piece for ESPN The Magazine, Ronda Rousey talks about her UFC 193 loss to Holly Holm, and why she needs to get back to fight Holm again.
Penick’s Analysis: The full piece is a must-read given how historic that loss was, but one thing that comes across abundantly clear is how little it may have actually humbled her. It comes across very much like she’s holding that loss on herself, and not on anything done by Holm. There’s no congratulatory statement, no recognition of what the new champion accomplished, no acknowledgment that she could have possibly been beaten by a better fighter. This is gung-ho in the other direction, this is the same Rousey as always, and though that may not necessarily be a bad thing by itself, she could potentially be setting herself up for another fall. Of course, if she comes right back with the motivation to run through Holm and does it this time around, then that’s that. Obviously she has something from which to come back here, and will have to find a way to accomplish that, but she should start looking more at fixing what went wrong than going in blind with the idea that she just has to get it done.
[Photo (c) Jason da Silva via USA Today Sports]
Well, it certainly doesn’t sound like she’s mentally “broke”, which is reassuring. I also didn’t quite expect her to “turn face” either and give Holm accolades for her victory. Ronda is Ronda.
I still think Floyd Mayweather had the right idea in featuring Holm and Rousey, in separate fights, on the same PPV card. Don’t rush the rematch. Give Rousey at least one fight where she can (hopefully) showcase improved stand-up, while Holm (hopefully) has a successful first title defense. It’s admittedly a business risk, but it pays off well in a better build up, down the road.