Ronda Rousey said she needed some time to decide on her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) future after defeat to reigning Women's Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday.
The 29-year-old lost the battle just 48 seconds into the match as Nunes kept pushing her back with an array of punches. It was also Rousey's second successive defeat after she lost her Bantamweight title to Holly Holmes in UFC 193 on 15 November, 2015, which was also the first of her career. The American MMA fighter was out of action for 13 months after the fight but got back to the Octagon to challenge Nunes amid sky-high expectations.
A pioneer of women's UFC, Rousey was known for her first-round finishes (a record five in UFC championship title matches) and was among the most popular UFC stars before she decided to take a break. However, her much-anticipated return was a heartbreak for her fans as well ash herself. The devastated fighter thanked her fans but maintained that she had a difficult time in the octagon against Nunes.
"I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding," Rousey told ESPN, as quoted by the Bleacher Report.
"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."
Meanwhile, Nunes did not make it easy even after the fight as she outrightly said that Rousey will not be able to cope up with the pressures of UFC. Notably, the 28-year-old has been climbing up the UFC ladder in the recent past. She won the Bantamweight belt after crushing Miesha Tate in the main event of UFC 200 earlier this year and successfully defended her title for the first time.
"That's it for her. For sure, she's going to retire. She can't take any more. If she wanted a rematch, it'd be the same thing," Nunes opined.