On December 30, in the main event of UFC 207, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion and transcendent MMA icon Ronda Rousey made her long awaited return to the Octagon. She did so against reigning bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes, in her first fight since she was turned off by a Holly Holm head kick in November of 2015. Rousey’s return to action could not have gone worse, as she was mauled to a TKO loss in a mere 48 seconds.
Now on the first two-fight losing streak of her legendary career, Rousey’s future is undeniably nebulous. While many fans and fellow fighters would like to see her get back on the horse, her retiring seems like a likely possibility.
In the wake of her loss to Nunes, Rousey has received warm words from many high profile figures in the sports and entertainment world. One of the latest figures to weigh in on her loss was NBA superstar LeBron James.
“In sports, in general, they build you up as high as they can, put you on the highest mountain in the world, just to tear you down. That’s coming from somebody who has experienced it,” James told the Akron Beacon Journal. “That’s a fact. I know exactly how she feels because I was that athlete. I went through that.”
“You don’t know her mindset,” he continued, weighing in on Rousey’s future. “You don’t know the drive, is the drive still there? You don’t know. But you can tell that it’s built and built and built and built and built, they always make the teardown story more important than how long it took for her to actually get to the mountaintop.”
James wasn’t the only NBA star to offer Rousey some love in the wake of her emphatic loss to Nunes. LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant also made an effort to comfort the former champ, taking to Twitter to commend her for helping to put MMA on the map.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 31, 2016
“Instead of clapping for [Ronda Rousey] defeat give her a standing O for putting the sport on the map” Bryant tweeted.
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