Ronda Rousey’s loss at UFC 207 might not have been all that shocking to hardcore MMA fans, since a year of silence after her last (and first) loss offered little insight to how she’d rebound. Tito Ortiz even earned a nice payday by betting against the former UFC women’s champ, either because he knew that Amanda Nunes is the real deal or Rousey was never going to be the same again after she was exposed by Holly Holm, or both.
Regardless of who knew what, Rousey was KO’d faster than anyone could have predicted and so many people have piled on with jokes, memes, and insults, as if she’s not still the main reason why UFC’s women’s divisions exist in the first place. But not everyone is Nelson Muntz. While Nunes “blasted” Rousey for not being a real fighter and Michael “Venom” Page mocked Rowdy with a dance, as if he’ll finish his career with a perfect record, embattled former champ Jon Jones offered his public (or at least social media) support.
And just as Kobe Bryant came to the defense of the “true champion” after her first loss, LeBron James, always a fan of Rousey’s talent, told the Akron Beacon Journal that he knows more than anyone what Rousey is going through right now.
“In sports, in general, they build you up as high as they can, put you on the highest mountain in the world, just to tear you down. That’s coming from somebody who has experienced it. And that’s exactly what she’s going through right now,” James told the Beacon Journal on Saturday. “That’s a fact. I know exactly how she feels because I was that athlete. I went through that.”
“You don’t know her mindset. You don’t know the drive, is the drive still there? You don’t know,” James said. “But you can tell that it’s built and built and built and built and built, they always make the teardown story more important than how long it took for her to actually get to the mountaintop.” (Via the Akron Beacon Journal)
It’s important to point out that James hadn’t watched Rousey’s 48-second fight before he was asked about it. But does he really need to? Sure, he could watch the final in the same time it takes for the Cavs video team to put two bros on the Kiss Cam, but it’s pretty cut and dry. He doesn’t need someone to paint him a picture of Nunes painting Rousey’s face purple to know that she’s having a bad week.