It’s been a month since Ronda Rousey’s big comeback ended in a quick 48 seconds at the hands of Amanda Nunes. Since then she hasn’t said much about her mixed martial arts career, and many people are assuming she’s probably done with the sport. And we’re not just talking about random sports channel talking heads, here. UFC president Dana White made the same prediction while talking to the press as well.
Meanwhile, Holly Holm (the original Rousey-killer) is gearing up for her shot at the inaugural women’s featherweight title at UFC 208 in Brooklyn on February 11th. So of course, she’s had to field a number of questions regarding Ronda and why things went so wrong for the face of women’s MMA following their fateful fight in Melbourne.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I broke her,” Holm said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I’ve seen fighters get knocked out and come back. You have a lot of doubt in your mind. A lot of it is getting in there and facing the questions about the loss. It’s a make-or-break moment. But coming off my knockout there was already damage done. That’s just how it goes. It’s a natural thing. I think if Nunes and Ronda had fought before our fight happened, the fight would have gone different and it wouldn’t have been one minute long.”
Holly also declined to get on the ‘Ronda should retire’ bandwagon, and instead suggested that Rousey would be back sooner or later … maybe way later.
“I can never say I think a fighter should retire,” she said. “I have a friend of mine that fought professionally in boxing and in MMA and she’s retired three times, and only then did it stick. Ronda might be done, but she really accomplished a lot. She might feel like, ‘You know what: I did a lot in the sport, I’m a legend in the sport. I can hang up my gloves.’ She might think that and say she’s retired, but then in two years she might think, ‘I’ve had enough of this other life. Fighting is what I want to do again.’ It’s a thin line. I’ve seen fighters retire multiple times. It’s not really a retirement. It’s just time off.”
It’s not exactly a recipe for success. Few fighters have come back from retirement looking better than ever. But there are exceptions … Randy Couture comes to mind. He retired after two ugly knockout losses to Chuck Liddell in 2006, only to come back a year later to win the UFC heavyweight title. He didn’t manage to win all of his fights during that return run, but people loved watching a crafty veteran in his mid-forties taking on younger, bigger fighters and winning more often than not.
Could Ronda Rousey attempt a similar comeback? It’d certainly be something to witness, no matter how it turned out.