Ronda Rousey considered suicide after loss to Holly Holm

ByBrett Okamoto ESPN logo
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey says she thought about killing herself in the immediate aftermath of her knockout loss to Holly Holm in November.

Rousey, 29, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday and spoke openly about her loss at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. The championship fight ended when Rousey went down in a highlight-reel knockout after a kick to the head from Holm. Rousey was transported to a local hospital afterward.

"Honestly, my thought in the medical room, I was sitting in the corner and was like, 'What am I anymore if I'm not this?'" Rousey said. "Literally sitting there thinking about killing myself. In that exact second, I'm like, 'I'm nothing. What do I do anymore? No one gives a s--- about me anymore without this.'"

Rousey said her relationship with her boyfriend, UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, was ultimately what got her through that moment.

"I looked up and saw my man, Travis, was standing there," Rousey said. "I'm looking up at him and was just like, 'I need to have his babies. I need to stay alive.'"

A former Olympic bronze medalist in judo, Rousey (12-1) told DeGeneres -- as she told ESPN in December -- that she intends to return to the Octagon in a rematch against Holm, a former world boxing champion.

"It's always crazy going into every fight," Rousey said. "It's always so much chaos, so much going on. Things weren't perfect, they never are. One thing that was different was it was my third title fight in nine months. I don't think anyone has even attempted that before. I don't make excuses. I've fought in worse conditions, but I think one thing that was different was I felt tired -- but I've been more tired."

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes successfully defended the title three times in eight months in 2002,and Tito Ortiz did the same in a seven-month span in 2001.

Holm (10-0) is scheduled to defend the 135-pound title at UFC 196 on March 5 in Las Vegas.

"I did a lot of thinking on, why did this happen?" Rousey said. "I do believe all the best things come from the worst things. The worst things result in the absolute best things. I was trying to think, what is the reason for this and what my actual purpose is -- and maybe just winning all the time isn't what's best for everybody.

"I felt like maybe my role is, everyone has their moment of picking themselves off the floor. I've gone through several of mine, but no one had ever seen me go through it. Maybe I just needed to be that example of picking myself off the floor for everyone. Maybe that's what I'm meant for. I really do believe I'm still undefeated because being undefeated is a choice. Everybody has losses in their life, but I choose to always be undefeated."

Rousey's longtime trainer Edmond Tarverdyan told ESPN in January that the former champion had returned to her gym in Glendale, California. Rousey had previously said she would like to fight sometime in 2016. UFC president Dana White believes Rousey could return in November.

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