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Ronda Rousey’s long and twisting path back to the Octagon

Nov. 14, 2015

Ronda Rousey walked into Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, as a close to 12-to-1 favourite over Holly Holm in what was her seventh title protection of the UFC ladies’s bantamweight championship.

Within the weeks main as much as the title combat, Rousey had talked continuous about retiring from the game undefeated and leaving a legacy that may rely her as the best fighter of all time. Rousey additionally deliberate to take some a lot wanted break day following a busy 2015, which included three title fights in addition to filming two films that opened nationwide.

 

Beating Holm was imagined to be a foregone conclusion as Rousey approached the brand new yr with plans for the lead position within the “Street Home” remake in addition to a movie mission known as “Mile 22,” the place she would star alongside Mark Wahlberg.

Fifty-nine seconds into the second spherical of the combat, Rousey’s world turned the other way up.

It was clear after the primary 5 minutes spent within the cage with Holm that Rousey was outgunned when taking over the previous boxing champion on their toes and her takedowns to alter up the technique weren’t working.

Rousey’s head coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, didn’t provide a lot recommendation between rounds and that informed her the brutal fact about what had transpired — for the primary time in her profession, she had misplaced a spherical in a combat.

As a substitute, Tarverdyan mentioned that Rousey’s efficiency was “stunning” and solely addressed Holm’s left hand and hook, whereas not mentioning her kicks in any respect throughout that one-minute relaxation session.

When the second spherical began, Rousey was nonetheless considerably dazed. She got here after Holm with the identical form of aggression that saved her undefeated by her first 12 fights. Sadly this time, Rousey’s pursuit performed proper into the arms of Holm, who continuously battered her with counter left arms till she tagged her with a tough shot that staggered the previous Olympic bronze medalist.

Rousey stumbled for a second and when she stood up and circled, Holm met her with a kick that completely bludgeoned her within the head and neck earlier than she fell like a statue that had been toppled, crashing to the bottom.holm-rousey

The combat was over. Rousey had been defeated. And it wasn’t shut.
Later that evening, whereas Holm answered questions on her upset victory, Rousey was nowhere to be discovered. She didn’t stick round for the customary post-fight interview with Joe Rogan and he or she didn’t seem on the post-fight press convention, both.

Rousey had a very good excuse, as she was on her method to a neighborhood hospital for therapy after the head-rattling knockout. Rumors abounded that Rousey suffered a damaged jaw and that defined why she wasn’t doing any interviews. It seems, Rousey needed to get her lip stitched up and he or she undoubtedly suffered some injury to her mouth.

The one message Rousey handed alongside was a put up on Instagram, the place she thanked everybody for the love and assist whereas stating that she was “positive” bodily. Apart from that put up, Rousey left Australia with out saying one other phrase.get2

Nov. 17, 2015

Three days after the loss to Holm, Rousey flew dwelling to Los Angeles and there’s little doubt it was a protracted and painful flight. As quickly as she landed, Rousey was bombarded by the paparazzi, who had been awaiting her arrival after phrase leaked that she could be flying dwelling that day.

When Rousey lastly exited the terminal, she was flanked by her boyfriend — UFC heavyweight Travis Browne — whereas she walked by the airport with a hood over her head and a pillow protecting her face. Like most fighters, Rousey undoubtedly was exhibiting the aftereffects of the battle, but it surely was clear she didn’t wish to make eye contact with anyone.

Dec. eight, 2015

About three weeks after her loss to Holm, Rousey gave her first interview, talking with ESPN concerning the occasions that unfolded within the first defeat of her skilled preventing profession.

Rousey admitted she shut herself off from the world within the aftermath of the combat and went on a secluded journey with Browne to get away from the highlight for just a few days. It was imagined to be a celebratory trip. As a substitute, it turned Rousey’s approach of coping with the ache of defeat.

“I’m simply actually (expletive) unhappy,” Rousey mentioned. “I would like to come back again. I must beat this chick. Who is aware of if I’m going to pop my tooth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open. I’ve to (expletive) do it.”

Rousey additionally defined how issues went so fallacious within the combat with Holm lengthy earlier than the top kick landed that knocked her out chilly.

In response to Rousey, she wast hit within the first spherical and that left her dazed and confused and he or she by no means recovered. When Holm blasted her with the top kick, Rousey was already near being completed.

“I received hit in that first spherical, I lower my lip open and knocked a few my tooth unfastened. I used to be out on my toes from the very starting,” Rousey defined.

“It was like a dumbed-down dreamy model of your self making selections. I used to be simply attempting to shake myself out of it. I saved saying to myself, ‘You’re OK, hold preventing. You’re OK, hold preventing.’ I simply really feel so embarrassed. How I fought after that’s such an embarrassing illustration of myself. I wasn’t even (expletive) there.”

Rousey additionally mentioned that it might in all probability be no less than three to 6 months earlier than she may actually take an influence once more, which solely fueled hypothesis about when she would truly have the ability to combat.

Nearly instantly after the combat with Holm, UFC president Dana White had began teasing a rematch, however Rousey’s accidents appeared to forestall that from occurring any time quickly. For now, Rousey was simply centered on restoration and getting her head proper.ronda-rousey

Jan. 23, 2016

In early January, Rousey was introduced as the primary MMA fighter who would host an episode of “Saturday Evening Stay.” Whereas her loss was nonetheless recent in everyone’s thoughts, Rousey was nonetheless the main focus of a number of upcoming movies and ongoing tasks that saved her identify within the highlight for her budding appearing profession.

Rousey appeared on the present, and through her opening monologue she congratulated Holm on her victory for the primary time.

Rousey had taken lots of flack for not addressing Holm’s win in both of her preliminary statements, both by social media or in her interview, however she lastly took the time to talk on to Holm whereas showing on the late-night present.

“That is the primary time I’m speaking to my followers since I misplaced to Holly Holm in November, which, by the way in which, was a combat Holly deserved to win,” Rousey mentioned. “And I simply needed to take a minute to sincerely congratulate her.”

Rousey went on to carry out in a number of sketches on “Saturday Evening Stay,’’ her first actual public look for the reason that loss at UFC 193.

Feb. 16, 2016

Rousey made an look on “The Ellen DeGeneres Present.” Through the dialog, Rousey struggled to combat again tears and admitted to having suicidal ideas within the first seconds after waking up from the knockout and realizing that she was not going to retire undefeated and that every thing she labored so laborious to realize had come crashing down.

“I used to be sitting within the nook and I used to be like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?’ I used to be actually sitting there and serious about killing myself in that actual second,” Rousey revealed. “I’m like, ‘I’m nothing.’ I’m like, ‘What do I do anymore? And nobody provides a (expletive) about me anymore with out this.’”

In response to Rousey, recognizing Browne snapped her out of that frame of mind, but it surely definitely described the depths she traveled to in these waning seconds after struggling the knockout loss.

“To be sincere, I regarded up and I noticed my man Travis was standing there and I regarded up at him and I used to be like I must have his infants, I would like to remain alive. Actually that was it,” Rousey mentioned.

“I believe I’ve solely informed him that, however that’s what I used to be considering. I used to be meant to have him once I was at my lowest. I don’t know if I’d have made it with out him.”

Whereas the interview principally addressed what occurred in that combat, Rousey nonetheless had her sights set on avenging the loss to Holm and hopefully reclaiming the belt she defended six instances beforehand.

“After all I wish to combat Holly, I wish to beat her and make every thing proper once more,” Rousey mentioned. “I wish to be the one to beat her.”

March 5, 2016

As a lot because the UFC needed to ebook the rematch between Rousey and Holm, the combat simply wasn’t going to come back collectively as deliberate. White had introduced in January that Rousey was taking an prolonged break from motion and wouldn’t be returning at UFC 200 in July, which was the focused date he needed for the combat with Holm.

On the time, Rousey was additionally planning on filming the “Street Home” remake and one other movie mission that may hold her busy away from the Octagon.

So Holm determined to maintain busy and booked a title combat with Miesha Tate at UFC 196.

Tate had already been declared the No. 1 contender within the ladies’s division earlier than Holm was even set to combat Rousey, however as a result of she had already misplaced to the previous champion on two events, the UFC opted to go along with the brand new matchup as a substitute.

Tate walked into the combat with Holm as an underdog however shortly showcased why she had been a stalwart close to the highest of the rankings all through her whole profession as she gave the brand new champion every thing she may deal with.

Nonetheless after 4 rounds it appeared Holm would survive to defend her title whereas preserving the rematch with Rousey later within the yr.

Sadly, Holm made a vital error when Tate received her to the bottom and shortly took her again earlier than fishing for a submission. It didn’t take Tate lengthy to discover a grip on a rear bare choke as she squeezed with every thing left in her arms till Holm lastly went limp.

The referee stopped the bout as Tate ripped up in celebration, lastly realizing her dream to grow to be UFC ladies’s bantamweight champion.

The loss not solely value Holm the title however seemingly a rematch with Rousey when she lastly determined to make her return to motion.holly-holm-miesha

Aug. 23, 2016

At UFC 200, with Rousey nonetheless on hiatus, Tate ended up preventing and falling to Amanda Nunes in a shocking first-round upset in the principle occasion. Tate finally solely held the ladies’s title for 4 months earlier than a brand new champion was topped, however there was nonetheless no signal of Rousey returning to reclaim her throne.

In April, Rousey had appeared in New York after the state formally legalized blended martial arts and he or she stood by whereas Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the invoice into legislation. Rousey’s look had many believing that she could be the star who would headline the UFC’s first present in New York Metropolis at historic Madison Sq. Backyard that November.

Sadly, White dashed everyone’s hopes when he introduced on an episode of “UFC Unfiltered” that Rousey was nonetheless not able to return and he or she wasn’t going to combat on the cardboard on Nov. 12.

“She’s undoubtedly not preventing in New York,” White revealed.

On the time, White may solely say that “nothing” was set in stone for Rousey’s return, however he hoped she would make an look by the top of the yr or in early 2017.

Whereas she clearly wasn’t able to combat, Rousey was additionally coping with delays in her movie profession after each tasks she had deliberate to work on in 2016 had all of the sudden stalled. The “Street Home” remake by no means went into manufacturing and “Mile 22” with Mark Wahlberg seemingly sputtered out in growth.

Oct. 12, 2016

The UFC nonetheless hadn’t declared a date for Rousey’s return, however in late September, FOX Sports activities discovered by sources that she had been supplied a combat with new champion Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30 at UFC 207 in Las Vegas.

Nunes had already verbally accepted the matchup, however she was ready on Rousey to formally declare whether or not she was going to take the combat.

Lastly, White appeared on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd the place he revealed that Rousey was able to stage her comeback in opposition to Nunes on the ultimate card of 2016.

Rousey would get the prospect to take again the title whereas additionally seeking to show that she was really again from the loss suffered to Holm almost a yr earlier.ronda-rousey-amanda-nunes

Nov. 1, 2016

For the primary time for the reason that combat was introduced, Rousey appeared — alongside Ellen DeGeneres for the second time, the place she addressed the matchup with Nunes.

Whereas Rousey didn’t have a lot to say concerning the present ladies’s bantamweight champion, she did handle her future with the game. Rousey mentioned that her matchup with Nunes could be one of many closing instances she would step foot within the Octagon. She couldn’t speculate on what number of fights she had left, however the quantity was shortly dwindling towards zero.

“Not that lengthy. I’m wrapping it up,” Rousey responded when requested how a lot time she had left in blended martial arts.

“That is undoubtedly certainly one of my final fights. All people higher watch as a result of the present isn’t going to be round endlessly.”

With Rousey’s monetary success each inside and out of doors the UFC it was straightforward to imagine that she was serious about calling it a profession, however now she confirmed that her retirement from preventing was looming overhead going into her combat on Dec. 30.

Rousey has by no means said the variety of fights she has left in her earlier than retiring, but it surely’s clear the clock is already ticking to rely right down to the top.

Nov. 11, 2016

With all eyes on the historic UFC 205 occasion at Madison Sq. Backyard, the promotion shocked everyone by introducing Rousey and Nunes after the official weigh-ins for a faceoff for the primary time since their combat had been introduced.

Rousey regarded simply as centered and decided as at all times as she stared down Nunes for just a few moments whereas photographers snapped photos. Afterward, Joe Rogan shortly interviewed Nunes whereas White did his finest to carry onto Rousey earlier than she pulled her arm away and stormed off stage.

It was solely revealed later Rousey didn’t depart the stage as a result of she didn’t wish to be interviewed — it was as a result of she was by no means supposed to speak within the first place.

“She was by no means supposed to talk and neither was Amanda,” White defined on the UFC 205 post-fight press convention. “My manufacturing guys screwed that factor up. It made Ronda look dangerous once more like she simply stormed off.

“They’re not imagined to do an interview. They had been imagined to go up there, sq. off, and so they’re each imagined to stroll away.”

One factor was for sure with that face off — Rousey was undoubtedly full of fireplace whereas taking a look at her first opponent for the reason that gorgeous knockout virtually precisely one yr earlier.ronda-rousey-ufc

Dec. 30, 2016

All of it comes right down to today. Rousey will lastly step again into the Octagon to compete as a challenger for the UFC ladies’s bantamweight title for the primary time.

Rousey entered the UFC as champion after successful and defending the Strikeforce belt however now she’ll be the primary fighter to enter the Octagon, not sporting championship colours as she prepares to face Nunes.

Oddsmakers have put in Rousey as the favourite, however there are nonetheless loads of unanswered questions on the place her head is at.

It additionally seems Rousey will keep away from virtually all media main as much as her bout with Nunes, as a substitute favoring solely a few retailers and interviews just like the one she did with Conan O’Brien lately. Rousey has said that slightly than put her power into promotion or exterior distractions, she’s going to remain centered on the duty at hand, and that’s defeating Nunes.

In one of many solely different interviews Rousey has granted within the weeks main as much as this combat, she definitely sounds decided to get again to the place she was earlier than that fateful evening in November 2015 when she was toppled by Holm.

“This can be a time for redemption and revenge,” Rousey mentioned. “All I care about is successful this (expletive) combat.”

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