Say what you will about Ronda Rousey’s performance in the cage at UFC 207 last week, but at least her fitness and nutrition seemed on point. Word is Rousey was hovering just above the 135 pound weight limit for weeks leading up to her fight against women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, which implies some serious dedication to her diet and workout. Part of that credit goes to her nutritionist Mike Dolce, who was on the MMA Hour yesterday talking about Ronda’s future.
“I wouldn’t be surprised either way,” Dolce told Ariel Helwani on the weekly video podcast. “If she says, ‘I want to be back for Super Bowl weekend or the July 4th card,’ I would not be surprised in the slightest. If she says, ‘I’ve done my thing in MMA, I’m gonna retire as a legend in the sport, specifically for WMMA,’ I wouldn’t be surprised, either. I truly think it’s 50-50 right now.”
Dolce went on to confirm UFC president Dana White’s words that Ronda was disappointed about the loss but nowhere near as destroyed over it as she was following the Holly Holm knockout in November of 2015.
“She’s in a great place,” he said. “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 the death — and she had said — of who she wanted to be and what she wanted to be.”
It makes sense. In a way, Ronda didn’t have as far to fall this time around, making the defeat easier to take. I’m sure all of the memes and tweets and jokes at her expense aren’t fun, but even at the pace they’re coming out at this point, it’s still only a fraction of the vitriol pushed her way after the Holly Holm loss.
And with the referee having stepped in to stop the fight before Amanda Nunes could knock Ronda Rousey unconscious, she’s got a much faster road back to the Octagon should she decide that’s what she wants. After the Holly Holm fight, it took Ronda half a year before she could even eat an apple with her jacked up jaw. That’s without factoring in whatever head trauma or concussion issues she may have dealt with following that head kick knockout.
So in a lot of ways, this wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the last loss she took. Which makes us hope we’ll still get to see a Ronda redemption story inside the cage. But maybe we just want that so bad we’re willing to ignore all the signs to the contrary. Would you want to step back into another fight after those last two losses? Here’s hoping Ronda has a thicker skin and more drive to compete than 99.9% of the population.