There’s a lot of people offering a lot of opinions about Ronda Rousey since she lost to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 leading up to New Year’s Eve. But how much are those opinions worth when they come from people who aren’t fellow mixed martial artists? How can they tell her what to do when they don’t really know what it’s like to live in her shoes?
One person who seems more qualified than most to offer Ronda advice is former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who hasn’t suffered losses in the cage like Ronda but knows a thing or two about the public turning on you and dragging you through the mud. Shortly after Ronda lost her big comeback fight to current women’s bantamweight champion Nunes, Jones tweeted out that she should ‘pick herself up and try again,’ saying she ‘stil has a lot of ass kicking’ left to do. And in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, he elaborated on Ronda’s situation.
“I think the sport is catching up with her talent level,” he said. “And people are realizing that she’s not as good of a striker as she is a ground specialist. I think Holly Holm kinda laid out how to beat Ronda. And it works. One thing about martial arts is none of us are invincible. I guess the lesson to be learned in Ronda’s situation is to always evolve. I think it’d be great to see her come back. I think it’d be important for her legacy to show people her courage and strength and her resiliance.”
“I think she needs to stick to fighting. I said in a tweet that I believe she still beats 95% of the division. So maybe she’s not going to be the invincible unbeaten person that people thought she was, but she could still go down as this … I mean, whether or not she regains the belt she’s always going to be an absolute legend. I do believe she could regain the belt. I believe she could beat any other girl at any given time.”
Previously, Jones suggested that Rousey consider changing camps, and considering the growing chorus of people saying horrible things about her current coach Edmond Tarverdyan, that doesn’t sound like the worst idea in the world. Ronda doesn’t need to master boxing in order to regain her dominance in the women’s bantamweight division. Rather, she needs a coach that plays to her strengths and teaches her what she needs to know about footwork and movement to allow her to utilize her unparalleled grappling skills when up against effective strikers.
The big question is whether Ronda is willing to uproot her life and completely overhaul her training at this point in her life. Leading up to this fight, it was a big question as to whether or not she was even all that interested in continuing to compete. Who knows how long it will be until we know the answer. Considering Ronda has enforced a strict media blackout in the months leading up to her fight and following it, we may not know whether she’s really done or not until another year has passed and she still hasn’t bothered to tell us she’s done.
We’re still holding out hope that she comes back, and it sounds like Jon Jones feels the same way. He’s another athlete that’s gone through adversity while chasing redemption, so he understands a little about what she’s going through these days. He’s rich enough that he doesn’t need to keep fighting and taking the kind of crap that MMA fans throw his way … he does it because of his drive to be the best. And that’s what we think will draw Ronda Rousey back to the cage. She may not be able to retire undefeated, but she could still retire on top. And what a story that would be to come back and do that after everything the naysayers have siad.