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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Ronda Rousey following knockout loss at UFC 207?

MMA: UFC 207-Nunes vs Rousey Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 207 blew the roof off T-Mobile Arena last Friday night (Dec. 30, 2016) in Las Vegas, Nevada, in what was the final event of the year for the combat sports promotion.

For complete UFC 207 results and coverage click here.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Dominick Cruz, who coughed up his title to Cody Garbrandt after five rounds of entertaining action in the co-main event of the evening (see it).

And John Lineker, who couldn’t get over the hump to potentially earn himself his first-ever UFC title fight, coming up short against ex-champion T.J. Dillasahw (video replay here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 72 hours removed from the show?

Ronda Rousey.

After a year-long layoff and a full media blackout, "Rowdy" returned to the cage to try to attempt to reclaim the title she lost over a year ago in what was the first defeat of her mixed martial arts (MMA) career. The world waited on pins and needles to see just how the face of women’s MMA would bounce back after a crucial loss.

And it’s safe to say no one expected to see the end result.

In just 48 seconds, Amanda Nunes dismantled "Rowdy" with precise, powerful striking that wobbled the Olympian in the opening seconds. After receiving a couple of more perfectly-placed punches, Rousey found herself on the end of yet another devastating defeat (highlights).

And she has Herb Dean to thank for not allowing her to take further punishment.

Surprisingly, just a day after her loss, Ronda offered up a statement thanking people for their support while declaring that she would once again step away from the fight game to ponder her future. A far cry from her silence after losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193.

It was refreshing for her fans to know that Ronda hasn’t yet committed to retirement, though some think it’s the right time to call it a day, or look for better training elsewhere.

Sure, she has plenty of financial incentive to keep fighting, as another $3 million payday is not something most people would pass up. That said, Ronda is adamant she doesn’t need much coin to be happy.

But what about her legacy?

For some, it’s already fulfilled to its full potential, as she did more for women’s MMA than anyone else — Gina Carano included — convincing Dana White to let her show off her skills inside the cage while paving the way for every other female fighter you see inside the Octagon today.

She ruled the division with an iron fist, brought many new fans to the sport, made her money, and landed side gigs away from fighting thanks to her skills. She has a laundry list of accomplishments too long to list.

In a nutshell, she’s been there, done that.

Two losses — heck even three or four — won’t ever take that away from her. She will always be the biggest trailblazer for women’s MMA, a future Hall of Famer who will always be known as the first-ever UFC women’s champ.

As far as what’s left for her to accomplish in the sport, only she can determine that. If "Rowdy" does return, hopefully she decides to venture out and train with other teams in the MMA world. And that doesn’t necessarily mean leaving Edmond Tarverdyan behind. There are plenty of fighters who cross-train with different teams, so it might serve her well to reset, start from scratch, and learn some new tricks of the trade.

If this truly is the end for Rousey in MMA, you have to admit, whether you rooted for her or not, it’s been one hell of a ride.

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