Ronda Rousey says that she was disoriented after the first exchange with Holly Holm. Rousey says she lost her depth perception during the fight, which makes sense given the wide shots and looking to have no answer to Holm’s left hand shots.
The real story behind this interview is Rousey opening up about her time in the hospital. She says that she felt like she was “nothing” if she wasn’t the world champion MMA fighter and had suicidal thoughts. Based on psychological studies a complete loss of identity or trauma, which both happen in this case, can create bouts of depression and depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
In many interviews I’ve read about boxing and fighting the single most difficult moment is a fighter being alone after a loss.
I think that discussing the “business” aspect of this interview is really missing the point. This is a truly authentic and vulnerable moment that we don’t get to see from athletes, let alone fighters. I can’t recall a sports figure being able to be so dominant and so tough keep, let alone increase their popularity, by opening up emotionally. Sports often tell athletes to not show emotion or weakness and Rousey herself admits that one of the hardest parts of the fight was to keep acting like nothing bad had happened after she was knocked off balance.
Rousey says that she came to the conclusion that winning “might not be best for everybody,” which is extremely brave and completely unexpected from a top-level athlete.
Ellen makes a point to say that Rousey sharing her experiences is helpful to many people watching who have gone though, or are going through, a similar experience. In her autobiography Rousey writes about dealing with her eating disorder but it seems that Rousey has a new experience to speak about, one that she is also dedicated to.
I’ve been the person who always thinks that athletes strengths, but most often their faults, are what makes them truly interesting. Agents and the media like to paint top athletes as invincible in every aspect and try to do everything possible to stop their faults from making it public. I’m a huge supporter of Rousey, even more after her loss, and think that her being so open is not only beneficial to everyone watching but also to other people in the business so that athletes can be more open with their whole selves.