Contrary to any motivational poster or inspirational quote, falling down does equate to failure – at least in the world of Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Such failure came to Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, the UFC’s female superstar, after her undefeated winning streak was stripped from her by Holly Holm on Nov. 14. Rousey’s loss came as a surprise to her fans and the fighting community, as she had won 12 straight fights previously in a total of only 25 minutes and 36 seconds. Holm didn’t care, taking Rousey down in a knockout that she is still recovering from physically and emotionally.
Over the past few years, Rousey has made a name for herself within the UFC as well as in Hollywood. Post knockout, she has mostly shut out the rest of the world and talked to her 7-year-old Argentinian Mastiff, Mochi.
In a tell-all interview with ESPN magazine, Rousey made it clear that the loss has had a serious impact on her, saying “I’m just re- ally f****** sad.”
A rematch between Rousey and Holm is bound to happen, but another loss for Rousey could mean she would be done for good.
“I guess it’s all going to be determined by what happens in the rematch,” Rousey told ESPN. “Everything is going to be deter- mined by that. Either I’ll win and keep going or I won’t and I’ll be done with everything.”
It seems unlikely that another loss would be the end of Rousey’s career. She has been through some tough times in her career as an athlete as well as her personal life and each time she’s come back to shock the world.
After her Olympic career in judo was over in 2008, she was left with no career and seemingly no hope. But she didn’t let that be a reason for her to just give up and wallow in her own self-pity. She worked numerous different jobs, fought back exhaustion and got back on her feet all because of her determination and strong will.
Even if after another loss Rousey never steps foot in the octagon again, her mark has been made. Eleven fights won in the first round, three total knockouts, eight title fights, two world titles, corporate sponsorships, acting debuts, and an icon to modern feminism are all on her resume. One bad loss doesn’t shake everything she has accomplished, all before she turned 30 years old.
Rousey says she has learned plenty of lessons following the loss, but she has also taught a few. For starters, she has shown the world that it is alright to be down for a little once you have fallen. It does not mean you are meant to stay down, but once you get back up one needs to be ready for whatever life throws at you – or – kicks you in the face with.
Olivia Mulvihill is a journalism major from Allentown, Pa. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @OliviaMulvihill.