MMA

Ronda Rousey Declares She Is ‘The Greatest Fighter That Has Ever Lived’

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 01: Ronda Rousey of the United States looks on prior to her bantamweight title fight Bethe Correia of Brazil during the UFC 190 Rousey v Correia at HSBC Arena on August 1, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey believes she is the greatest fighter in existence, even after losing in devastating fashion twice to end her MMA career. She also disclosed more details surrounding these defeats, pointing to a litany of concussions that resulted because of competing in combat sports for a long time.

Rousey bared all in an interview with Valeria Lipovetsky ahead of the release of her memoir. (starting at 15:30 of the video below).

I was so done fighting after that loss. I’ve had so many concussions, you know. I literally couldn’t take a jab without getting a concussion at that point. Every time you get a concussion, it’s easier for you to get the next. I spent my decade-long judo career more times experiencing concussion symptoms than not.

So I got to the point where I was neurologically wasn’t fit to fight anymore. I’d given everything that I had had and until my body and my mind started to fall apart. And when I couldn’t give anything anymore, they hated me for it.

Ronda Rousey on her concussion issues

Rousey then revealed why she couldn’t just call it quits.

I felt like I had to come back for another fight because I felt like I owed it to the fans and everyone that believed in me. I needed to give them an example of overcoming adversity.

Ronda Rousey

Unfortunately for Rousey, the concussive damage to her brain took its toll. She referred to it as an “inevitable decline” that prevented her from fighting at the level that she used to. 

That said, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champ added more excuses for her first loss against Holly Holm. She mentions an ill-fitting mouthguard, falling down the stairs days leading to the fight, and the terrible weight cut. As a result, according to Rousey, she was all but done.

I was out on my feet for the entire fight. I was trying to make it look like I wasn’t hurt, but I wasn’t there, cognitively. I couldn’t think as fast, I couldn’t judge distance, and just from that one fight, everybody thought, ‘Oh, she’s just a fraud’. And I know like, I’m the greatest fighter that has ever lived.

Ronda Rousey

Is Ronda Rousey the Greatest Fighter That Ever Lived?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 05: Ronda Rousey speaks as she becomes the first female inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at The Pearl concert theater at Palms Casino Resort on July 5, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

With her good looks and aggressive style, Rousey caught the attention of MMA fans. She stormed right out of the gate, winning 12 straight, all finishes within the first round except the second fight against Miesha Tate.

However, she’s hardly the best women’s MMA fighter ever, much less the best ever. Amanda Nunes fought all comers and prevailed. After Nunes lost to Cat Zingano in 2014, the Brazilian won 12 straight against the who’s who of the sport. Her victims include Tate, Rousey, Holm, Valentina Shevchenko, Cris Cyborg, and current bantamweight champion Raquel Pennington.

Nunes lost to Julianna Pena at UFC 269 but avenged that defeat at UFC 277. After another successful title defense, Nunes retired on top last year.

Nevertheless, athletes always feel they are “the best” and no one should fault Rousey for thinking such a thing. The excuses, though? That’s a different story.