RONDA ROUSEY IS contemplating her future following a second straight knockout loss.
Amanda Nunes beat Rousey via TKO just 48 seconds into their much-anticipated title fight at UFC 207 on Friday, the third-fastest knockout in women’s UFC bantamweight history.
Making her first UFC appearance since her loss to Holly Holm in November 2015, Rousey has now lost two consecutive fights, fuelling speculation she may retire.
Once among UFC’s more marketable commodities, Rousey has maintained a media blackout leading up to and immediately following Friday’s fight.
She finally spoke to the media Saturday in a statement to ESPN asking for time to reflect and think about her future in the octagon.
“I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me,” Rousey said.
“Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes – even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly – it doesn’t work how you planned.
“I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.
“I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”
Rousey has plenty of options, ranging from WWE to acting.
The reigning bantamweight champion dispatched Rousey’s challenge with her boxing skills at UFC 207, landing a succession of strikes cleanly and gradually withering the challenger’s resolve inside the opening minute.
Rousey tried to match Nunes in the boxing stakes, which the Brazilian feels was a poor choice of tactic, given how Rousey is better suited to the grappling game.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Nunes said Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan was to blame for Rousey’s demise.
“I know she was going to strike with me because her boxing coach [Edmond Tarverdyan] told her she has good striking. I knew she was going to strike a little bit with me, but when I started to connect with some punches, I knew she would want to start to clinch with me.
“She thinks she’s a boxer. [Tarverdyan] put this thing in her head to make this girl believe that [she’s a boxer]. I don’t know why he did that — she has great judo and she can go [further] in this division, but he put some crazy thing about her boxing and then her career started going down. I’m the real striker here.”
Originally published: 09:41