After Ronda Rousey suffered the first loss of her career, getting knocked out by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia, back in Nov. 2015, "Rowdy" admitted she went down a dark path that included suicidal thoughts. After more than one year away from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, Rousey returned to the Octagon last Friday night (Dec. 30, 2016) at UFC 207, suffering an even quicker defeat, this time at the hands of current division champion, Amanda Nunes (see it again here).
So what is Rousey’s mental state following the 48-second technical knockout loss? According to her nutritionist, Mike Dolce, she’s in a better place than she was after UFC 193, revealing this time around there are no suicidal thoughts creeping into her head. In addition, he explained the reason she took the loss to Holm much harder during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"No, there is no concern about that. She’s in a great place and she has an amazing support system around her, truly. I think she’s at an excellent point in her life. And this is my personal opinion -- what happened in Australia against Holly, that was like a death. It was a death of who she wanted to be, and she was trying to be the first and only undefeated retired champion. And when that became impossible, it became difficult for her and for us. For those closest to her, it was difficult for us to go through, but we rebounded and came up with a different gameplan."
Being around top-level fighters throughout his career, Dolce knows just how different fighters react after crushing losses. As for what he sees from Rousey, she’s doesn’t become aggressive like many do, but rather she opts to isolate herself.
"I’ve been with athletes, and I don’t want to name names, that just destroy locker rooms, hotel rooms. They become extremely despondent and belligerent to the people closest to them. Ronda doesn’t do any of that, so I think it’s just different. Each athlete is different, their internal drive is different and their external representation of what’s happening inside is different. Ronda becomes rather quiet, and standoffish and needs her space, which is very important. Some athletes act out in a more aggressive matter, male and female, so it’s not just a guy thing. So I wouldn’t say it’s much different, it more individual-wise."
Indeed, Rousey -- unlike after her loss to Holm -- released a statement almost immediately following her defeat to "Lioness," revealing that she would take time off before deciding her next MMA move. Meanwhile, those closest to her would prefer she use her other skills to make a living and retire from face-punching altogether.