“MMA? Yeah, they’ve been making me go non-stop. I mean, my first year I fought six times. I feel like I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a long time. In Judo, I took a good period of time off after the Beijing Olympics and I feel like I’m bodily and mentally in a similar space where it’s just what I need right now… It’s been surprising to me how happy I’ve been being away from [fighting]. I’m being purposefully mysterious right now because I think people have taken my availability for granted, and I’ve kind of just wanted to disappear.”
Penick’s Analysis: The UFC’s not above riding their cash cows until there’s nothing left, and given how much they’ve touted their record revenues in 2015 – with Rousey fighting three times in a nine month span – they in some ways did just that. Now, she asked for a lot of it herself. She put a lot of pressure on herself to be that champion and to be that centerpiece, the same as Conor McGregor is now doing. Getting a break from it is helping her get a different kind of mentality. That could be an issue when she wants to return to the cage, because what led to her success is also in some ways what led to her downfall, and she’ll need to find the sweet spot in that drive in order to put together another sustainable run.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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