Since her headkick knockout loss to Holly Holm last November, Ronda Rousey has become something of a mystery. She dropped off the face of the earth for a year, and now that she’s back she seems to be a different person. But who is she? And how can we figure it out if our only glimpses of her are in five minute couch chats with folks like Ellen and Conan?
Well, ESPNW now has an in depth feature on her from the same author that showed us Rousey’s dark place following her loss. It depicts a Ronda that has separated herself from the celebrity she seemed to enjoy cultivating during her first reign. She now lives in a cabin two hours outside of LA and claims getting knocked out “saved me from becoming what I hate. One of those people who live their lives to impress everyone else. Who put up a front for the world to admire.”
She’s declared herself done doing favors for anyone, not the fans who she says “geotag her like a rhino” wherever she goes. Not even her bosses at the UFC, who pressured her into taking the Holly Holm fight on short notice to save a failing card in Australia.
“I will never put my body at risk for money and views ever again,” she told ESPNW. “What makes me happy is winning and being the best in the world and that’s it. F**k all the promotion and energy spent on anything that’s not me winning. And anyone who tries to tell me I owe them energy on frivolous s**t during camp out of “loyalty” or “friendship” deserves no loyalty from me and is no friend of mine. This is not a time for f**king favors. This is a time for redemption and revenge.”
There’s some sort of very angry zen in effect when it comes to her comeback training. Her coaches cover the gym area by her cabin with inspirational quotes. She adds her own more aggressive ones sometimes, like “Success is the best revenge” and ‘Finish what you started.’ One that comes up on the wall and inscribed again and again on her handwraps? “FTA” a catchy (and even saltier) follow-up to “DNB” that stands for “F**K THEM ALL.”
Her mother, the always acerbic former judo champion Dr. AnaMaria DeMars, told Ronda that “FTA” wasn’t a good enough philosophy to carry her through her comeback. Afterwards, Ronda texted her mother sent her a more complete vision. “She said, ‘I am doing this to show everybody who believed in me, my little sister, my nieces and my nephew, that there’s nothing so great that you can’t overcome it. You can never fall so far that you can’t rise up.'”
We’ll see if Ronda can use that energy to return to championship form on December 30th when she tries to take her former belt off current women’s 135 pound champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 206.