If there were any questions about whether Ronda Rousey would be back following her second-round knockout to Holly Holm last month, the former bantamweight champion just gave a resounding answer.
Rousey has been fairly silent since traveling home from Australia, but in an interview to be published in an upcoming issue of ESPN the Magazine, the woman once called the most dominant athlete in all of sports makes it clear she is definitely charging back for the title.
"I need to come back. I need to beat this chick," Rousey told ESPN, according to excerpts released on Monday. "Who knows if I’m going to pop my teeth out or break my jaw or rip my lip open again. I have to (expletive) do it. It doesn’t matter. I have to do it."
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Looking back on the fight, Rousey said that she got caught with a punch from Holm about 30 seconds into the first round and it left her dazed and confused.
Judging by the way she got handled for the rest of the round it’s easy to tell that Rousey never really recovered from that initial shot and she went to her corner and immediate spat out the blood that had collected inside her mouth. Typically, Rousey waits for her corner man to give her the bucket to spit into, but nothing about this night was characteristic of any of her past performances.
When the second round began, Rousey was clearly outclassed on the feet and just 59 seconds later Holm rocketed a left high kick that slammed into the former Olympian’s head and neck before sending her crashing to the ground.
Since that moment, Rousey has done her best to stay out of the public spotlight, the ESPN interviewer indicating she wasn’t even sure that the former UFC champion has turned on her phone much since returning home.
If so, it is likely Rousey hasn’t seen any of the vitriolic comments that have been thrown her way from just about every corner of the world since her loss, but she took an educated guess what most people were saying about her — "that I’m a failure and I deserve everything that I got."
The one subject that Rousey didn’t broach just yet was a timeline for her return to action. While she makes it clear her priority is getting the belt back from Holm, Rousey also has several film projects scheduled for 2016. And in another excerpt of the interview published on Monday, Rousey said that it might be up to six months before she can even eat an apple again much less take damage in a fight.
Still, Rousey is more determined than ever to come back to redeem herself because the last performance she put on is absolutely unacceptable.
"I just feel so embarrassed," Rousey said. "How I fought after that is such an embarrassing representation of myself. I wasn’t even (expletive) there."