Ronda Rousey hoped to end 2016 with a statement in the octagon. Instead, the former champion issued a weary statement about her uncertain future in fighting.
“I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me,” Rousey said in a statement provided to ESPN.
“Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.
“I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”
It’s a tough end to 2016 for Rousey. The 29-year-old worked relentlessly to mount a comeback after suffering an embarrassing second-round knockout by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015. Rousey sure looked ready at weigh-in, and the comeback match was wildly hyped but it was an outright disaster from the beginning.
Now she’s being called “not a real fighter” by the champion who worked her in under a minute. Even her mom thinks she should stop getting punched in the face and retire. Rousey doesn’t seem likely to admit her career is truly over anytime soon, but she definitely needs some time away to figure out what’s next.