Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made a special appearance on the Ellen show back in early 2016 and revealed to host Ellen Degeneres that losing her 135-pound strap in a technical knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 left “Rowdy” with suicidal thoughts.
“To be honest, I was down in the medical room in the corner and I was like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?’ I was literally sitting there, thinking about killing myself,” Rousey said. “In the exact second, I was like, ‘I’m nothing, what am I going to do anymore? No one gives a shit about me without this.’ To be honest, I looked up and saw my man, Travis, and thought, ‘I need to have his babies, I need to stay alive [laughs].’ I haven’t told anyone that except him. That’s what I was thinking.”
Read her full comments from Ellen right here.
Rousey, who lost her father to suicide, strongly identified with being undefeated in MMA and struggled to find a new identity when she was no longer worshipped as a combat sports deity. But her candor on the Ellen show enraged current UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland.
“I explained why I hate Ronda Rousey, why I find she is everything that’s wrong with the fucking world,” Strickland said on social media. “[Her Ellen appearance] was on the news, it was fucking everywhere. I don’t know when suicide became cool but it became cool, like they made a Netflix show ‘13 Reasons.’ Everybody’s fucking depressed, everybody is suicidal, and let me fucking tell you guys, it is not fucking cool. Depression is like cancer, it’s fucking terminal. It’s like herpes, you might not have it but you always fucking have it and it’s waiting to fucking come out.”
Rousey is not the first UFC fighter to openly admit that losing was the catalyst for depression and even suicidal thoughts. Other fighters (like this popular lightweight) use their UFC stardom to encourage fans — particularly men — to be more vocal about their feelings, for better or worse.
“Suicidal thoughts, for the people who have it, it’s even fuckng worse,” Strickland continued. “You fixate on it, you dwell on it. You start thinking about how you’re gonna do it. You start thinking about where you’re gonna do it. You start think about how your people are gonna take it. You really fantasize about it and it’s fucking miserable. It’s not a fleeting thought because you lost a fight. And I hate Ronda Rousey because she used something so fucked up and so serious as a ‘but I overcame it’ strong moment, when it’s fucking not.”
Strickland, who returns to the Octagon against Jared Cannonier this Dec. in Las Vegas, has come under fire in recent years for his bizarre social media posts that demonstrate “weird” fantasies and promote violent behavior. To date, the promotion has turned the other cheek despite its strict Code of Conduct.
Rousey has yet to respond to Strickland’s comments.