Ronda Rousey has been largely quiet since she stumbled in her return to the Octagon opposite bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, but did she just hint at another possible return?
In the days following the brutal 48-second loss to Nunes, Rousey released a statement to ESPN.
“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,” she said.
“I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”
Rousey obviously hadn’t made up her mind about her future at that point.
On Monday, Rousey posted a vague statement on Instagram, quoting famed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling: “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation upon which I rebuilt my life.”
Prior to writing the Harry Potter books, Rowling was a struggling divorcee on welfare with a daughter to raise. She had hit rock bottom, but turned her idea about the wizarding world into an unparalleled success.
Rousey, of course, already rose to the top of the mixed martial arts world as the UFC’s first women’s bantamweight champion, defending the belt numerous times before falling to Holly Holm in November of 2015 and Nunes at the end of 2016.
She is surely hoping that she has hit the rock bottom of her mixed martial arts career, having never tasted defeat prior to her recent back-to-back losses.
Rousey’s citing of Rowling’s quote could be an indicator that she is planning an MMA rebound. Its meaning, however, is hazy, and could just as easily be pointing to a major shift in the direction for her life. Until she breaks her silence, we’re unlikely to know which way she is leaning.