Following her devastating loss via knockout to Amanda Nunes at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 207 on the last day of 2016, Ronda Rousey ends her silence with an Instagram post suggesting that she may be in better spirits than many had assumed.
On Monday, nine days after her 48-second defeat in her comeback match, the former UFC women's bantamweight champion shared on Instagram a quote from "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling that says: "And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." It was a relatively quick recovery for Rousey, considering that she was out of the public eye for six months following her loss to Holly Holm in late 2015.
Rousey's future in MMA remains uncertain, and many are doubtful that she can still turn things around as far as her career in the Octagon is concerned. Some, including former rivals and her own mother, are encouraging the 28-year-old fighter to quit and pursue other endeavors.
One unlikely cheerleader is Cris "Cyborg" Justino, who is known to have exchanged insults with Rousey over the past few years.
Justino left an encouraging message in the comments section of Rousey's Instagram post, saying, "@rondarousey I was sad to see the loss of the sports star, but you have so much ahead of you and blessed with the financial security to pursue all your passions. You opened the door for more promotion and grew into a sport icon. Enjoy the next chapter of life and know you've got amazing opportunities to continue changing the world. #rowdyrevolution."
Meanwhile, there are also those who believe that Rousey can still bounce back and keep her title as the female face of MMA. Elite-level sports psychologist Douglas Smith is one of them.
According to Smith, Rousey can still be an MMA star with the right kind of help. Smith told CBC Sports, "The whole mental side of sport is about resilience, and that doesn't come because you are born with it. ...I know a lot of athletes don't believe they can create miracles, but they can."