In a new and excellent ESPN interview with Ronda Rousey, the woman who helped usher in women’s MMA to the UFC talks about what went wrong against Holly Holm at UFC 193 last month and what led to the devastating head kick knockout and her first loss in mixed martial arts.
“I got hit in that first round,” Rousey stated. … “I cut my lip open and knocked a couple of my teeth loose. I was out on my feet from the very beginning.”
“I wasn’t thinking clearly. I had that huge cut in my mouth and I just spit [the blood] out at my feet. Then they brought the bucket over and I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I spit it in the bucket?’ I never spit on the ground.”
“It was like a dumbed-down dreamy version of yourself making decisions. … I was just trying to shake myself out of it. I kept saying to myself, ‘You’re OK, keep fighting. You’re OK, keep fighting.'”
“I just feel so embarrassed. How I fought after that is such an embarrassing representation of myself. I wasn’t even fucking there.”
Apparently chasing down a counter-puncher wasn’t part of the plan according to her coach Edmond Tarverdyan. But as they often say, once a fighter starts getting hit, game plans tend to go out the window.
The interview is fascinating because everyone has been waiting to see how Ronda deals with loss. It’s also fascinating because for the first time we hear Ronda’s thoughts on the Travis Browne situation, her reaction to her mother’s comments about her coach. And we also find out Edmond’s reaction when he heard what Ronda’s mom had said publicly about him. He cried, by the way. And Ronda has no intention of leaving him.
We also learn that Ronda plans to return and wants another shot at Holly Holm.
“I need to come back. I need to beat this chick,” Rousey stated. “Who knows if I’m going to pop my teeth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open. I have to fucking do it.”
As far as when the rematch might take place, that is still to be determined. Rousey revealed it could be up to six months before she can even eat an apple, much less take a punch. But in due time, the woman who elevated not only women’s MMA, but women everywhere, will start the next leg of her journey.
Read the full Ronda Rousey post-fight interview over at espn.go.com and then check out this most excellent ESPN The Magazine podcast episode with the reporter Ramona Shelburne who spent considerable time with Rousey before and after the fight to write the story — which was originally going to be a whole other type of story before the loss — but that’s another story, which you can hear about on the podcast.