Breakdown: The Major Reasons Ronda Rousey Will Fail To Reclaim The UFC Title


This week, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community was dealt the shocking revelation that former UFC women’s bantamweight Ronda Rousey actually considered suicide following her devastating knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 when the ultra-popular “Rowdy” revealed her formerly frail state in an emotional interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

There were understandably a mixed bag of reactions to the news, with some of her fans exhibiting compassion and understanding while others showed a cold and cruel lack of remorse in suggesting Rousey was only doing it for attention, and the MMA media justifiably wondered if she is truly ready to step back into the Octagon for the title rematch that is tentatively talked about for late this year.

Either way, it was tough for Rousey to find too much sympathy as a millionaire movie actress whether she has the belt or not, and prominent MMA figures like Holm and former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar spoke out to state that while they felt for Rousey, they didn’t necessarily feel that sorry for her.

It’s no doubt a shall we say, different, point of view from a once-dominant champion who, only four months ago was considered unstoppable and a candidate to retire undefeated as arguably the best fighter in UFC history. Now that that’s gone, however, all of the dynamics might suggest that Rousey won’t win the title again, and her mental state could certainly have a lot to do with that. Let’s take a look at the largest reasons why Rousey won’t regain her title.

AnnMaria DeMars

7.) Drama:

As the biggest multimedia star in MMA history, drama follows Rousey around each and every turn. Now, she hasn’t exactly fought it off by refusing to agree to her mother’s pleas to leave Edmond Tarverdyan and his Glendale Fighting Club, and it certainly didn’t help that news came that she was dating UFC heavyweight Travis Browne while he was currently embroiled in a domestic abuse scandal (of which he was later cleared), but none of us are perfect.

Nor is Rousey; she’s a human being who makes mistakes like the rest of us, but the massive overarching difference here is that her day-to-day activities are dissected under an ever-watchful eye that amplifies the drama of her life to an absolutely infinite degree.

With her recent statements, she’s only added to that drama, and there can obviously be several inferences drawn from the poignant words. However, regardless of any of that, it’s clear that drama is going to follow Rousey in a huge way wherever she goes, and that is going to make it difficult to regain the title that was once so dear to her.


6.) The Allure Of Hollywood:

Another huge reason Rousey may not regain her title is the allure of Hollywood, because she already has a successful career there with an endless supply of more roles seemingly on the way.

She enjoys a lucrative position that absolutely no other MMA fighter ever has in that she simply doesn’t have to fight to make ends meet, and at the end of the day, her movie paydays most likely rival her fight purses, if not surpass them outright. Rousey was also pegged to rematch Holm at July’s UFC 200, and while that may have been much too soon to come back from a devastating knockout, the fight was also pushed back in order to allow her to finish filming yet another movie.

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That shows us a lot about Rousey’s priorities as of now, and even though she may be motivated to return and win the belt again, it’s also a kind of “can’t have your cake and eat it too” situation.

The allure of Hollywood is strong indeed, and if Rousey wants her title back, she’s going to have to get refocused on fighting and fighting alone. That’s going to be tough considering her superstar status at this point.


5.) Pressure:

Building off of her Hollywood stardom, Rousey’s scope of attention has simply gotten too big to the point that massive pressure follows her around everywhere she goes like the Paparazzi in L.A.

Take her recent appearance on the Sports illustrated Swimsuit Edition, where Rousey turned heads and created headlines wearing nothing but body paint as one of three cover models for this year’s issue. Many have applauded the accomplishment, which no MMA fighter has even come close to attaining, but obviously on the other side of the coin there are the haters who blast her looks just to ride her coattails and star power.

Talk show host Wendy Williams was the most glaring example of this, as she recently blasted Rousey’s cover shot for not much reason at all, calling her “hot, but she’s the girl at the barbecue.” No matter what that means, it proves that Rousey’s accomplishments and accolades are going to be ripped apart by someone somewhere, whether it’s online haters or a more prominent figure like Williams.

It may not be right, but it’s just the facts of the matter in this day and age, and perhaps Rousey also set herself up to fall a bit by coming off as arrogant and brash while believing herself to be unstoppable. She also trademarked the catchphrase “FTA,” which means “F*** them all” in reference to the haters that came out in droves after her loss, and while any publicity is good publicity, you have to wonder if she’s letting the pressure of her own stardom get to her.

That definitely won’t help her defeat Holm (or Miesha Tate if “Cupcake” somehow beats Holm at UFC 196) and regain the belt.

edmond tarverdyan ronda rousey

4.) Refusal To Change Camps:

“Rowdy” has refused to leave her longtime coach Edmond Tarverdyan despite the incessant and forceful pleas from her mother Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, who believes Tarverdyan to be such a scumbag that she would “run him over with her car if it was legal.”

The advice that he gave Rousey, whom he told he told was “doing great” despite the obvious fact that she was being eaten alive in between rounds versus Holm only serves to prove de Mars’ theory. And the fact that he recently had his seconds (cornerman) license suspended in California for failing to disclose prior convictions, in addition to his ongoing bankruptcy hearings, suggest that Rousey training with Tarverdyan isn’t the best idea when she’s trying to work out some serious issues of her own.

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Yet she doesn’t appear to be leaving him or Glendale Fighting Club, and that could seriously hurt her chances of ever regaining the UFC championship.


3.) She Let The Loss Impact Her Too Much:

As former UFC champ Lesnar said, Rousey has to learn how to lose. All of the greatest UFC champions in history have lost at some point, and Rousey is clearly no different. It’s the grit and determination to come back even better that makes them true champions, and Rousey will have to do just that if she wants to regain her title belt.

However, with statements like her considering suicide because of one loss floating around the web, you have to wonder if she’s in the right place mentally to even set foot back in a MMA cage, let alone take on the best 135-pound female fighter in the world a short time after she absolutely dominated her in just under six total minutes.

It’s hard to imagine that she truly is, and while she is taking some much-needed time off to get her head straight, she’s also occupying that time with a still-nonstop stream of media engagements.

That’s great for Rousey the star but terrible for Rousey the fighter. It’s obvious that this loss shook her to the core because she isn’t used to losing, but she set herself up when she bought into the hype that she was unbeatable and would retire with the belt. When that didn’t happen, it obviously affected her to the point of considering suicide (albeit briefly).

Even if that was a cry for attention, it was a poor choice to reveal that in a world when people who aren’t millionaires or movie stars struggle with true depression and suicidal thoughts on a daily basis.

She’s a big star, but the world doesn’t revolve around her, and it could certainly be worse. That’s why her recent statement shows that she took this loss way to hard, and that can and will affect her chances of winning the belt again.


2.) She Just Isn’t As Dominant As We All Thought:

Building off of how Rousey took her first loss too hard, it’s quite possible that she was billed as an unstoppable force when in reality, although she was no doubt skilled and talented, she was actually just facing a fledging division of female fighters that just hadn’t even come close to catching up to her lifelong background in combat.

Retrospectively, Miesha Tate was the only fighter to make it out of the first round with Rousey, and she ran through fighters like Liz Carmouche, Alexis Davis, Sara McMann, and Cat Zingano with ease. Not to take anything away from these fighters, as they are no doubt talented and some of the best female competitors on the planet, but aside from Tate, they haven’t exactly been dominating competition.

Yes, Tate has won four straight decisions to get her coveted shot at Holm at UFC 196, but apart from her, the four aforementioned ladies have gone a poor 4-8 in their fights with and after facing Rousey. There’s certainly no shame in losing to “Rowdy,” but one has to wonder if they just weren’t all that great in the first place, and that’s not even including the fight that propelled Rousey to true superstardom, her UFC 190 knockout of heated rival Bethe Correia, who hadn’t even faced a Top 10-ranked challenge on her path to a title shot.

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There, Rousey knocked out a badly overmatched opponent in 34 seconds, and while it made her an instant crossover star, it could also be argued that it made her believe she could stand and trade with the very best female strikers on the planet. That theory was obviously put to rest swiftly and in devastating fashion when she met a truly elite challenge in Holm, and it definitely begs the question of if Rousey was just beating up on lackluster competition throughout her dominant UFC reign.

We’re going to find out soon enough, and no one can take away from what Rousey has done in the Octagon and for women’s MMA as a whole. But perhaps her competition played a big part in why she was able to destroy her previous opponents with such ease, and it could also be a reason why she can’t regain her title if she does battle Holm once again.


1.) There’s Too Much On Her Plate To Be Champ:

Mixing all of these motivating factors together, it just seems that Rousey’s massive superstardom leads to a frantic lifestyle of nonstop media engagements, which is certainly not conducive to being the best in any one single combat sport.

Even if she were to regroup and come back strong to win the belt back from Holm, her popularity would only skyrocket, and the prospect of defending her belt against the same opponents for less money than Hollywood is offering would probably be one she passed up on.

She’s a star unlike any we’ve seen in MMA, and that could and most likely will put a premature end to her fighting career whether we like it or not. She’s on TV appearing in everything from movies to commercials to hosting Saturday Night Live, on countless magazine covers like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and overall just a massive multimedia star who has quite possibly become bigger than the sport that got her there.

It’d be tough to balance all of her engagements and obligations on their own, but to do it while balancing the life of a UFC champion fighter is just an insane and as we saw in November, almost impossible task. On the other hand, Holm has none of those obligations except for a few appearances here and there, and Tate can still focus on fighting even though she does have a certain amount of public promotion to do (thanks in large to her notorious rivalry with Rousey).

Rousey embarked on a trip that no one person has ever done before, and it all came crashing down with one huge head kick in Melbourne. She might come back with a renewed vigor and use her world-class judo to win the belt back from Holm, but if she’s on a talk show talking about suicide, we have to wonder if she can handle the loss, and if she should even be fighting again if it’s going to affect her that much.

“Rowdy” was a pioneer for women’s MMA and is still the sport’s biggest star; that much is true. But there are several large factors in play that will prevent her from winning back her belt. Time will tell if she can overcome them all – do you believe she will?