Ronda Rousey speaks out for first time after devastating UFC 207 loss

Ronda Rousey released a statement to ESPN Saturday saying she needs
Ronda Rousey released a statement to ESPN Saturday saying she needs “to reflect and think about the future,” after her loss to Amanda Nunes Friday at UFC 207. (Getty Images)

Less than 24 hours after being stopped by Amanda Nunes in 48 seconds in their fight for the women’s bantamweight title before a sell-out crowd of 18,533 at T-Mobile Arena in the main event of UFC 207, Ronda Rousey has broken her silence.

In a statement released to ESPN, Rousey said, “I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future.”

Rousey, the former unbeaten champion, has had a precipitous fall in the last 13 months. She was stopped by Holly Holm in the second round at UFC 193 in a fight in which she was dominated. After more than a year off, she returned Friday but was no match for Nunes‘ powerful strikes.

She took the bout against Nunes after negotiating a deal with UFC president Dana White in which she didn’t have to do any media. She did an interview with ESPN the Magazine and appeared on “Conan” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” But she did not speak at all before the fight and failed to attend the post-fight news conference.

Rousey’s statement:

I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me.

Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.

I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.

Her mother, former star judoka Ann Maria DeMars, told TMZ on Friday she hoped her daughter would retire, but said it would be Rousey’s decision.

DeMars told TMZ that as a parent, she wanted her daughter to retire because she didn’t want to see her get injured. But she said Rousey needed to think of it dispassionately after the emotion wears off.

“I think making snap decisions like that is probably not the best idea, so I don’t know,” DeMars told TMZ. “I would like to see her retire. I would have liked to have seen her retire a long time ago. Who wants to see their kid get hit? She’s got a lot of talent to do other things. Movies, writing, producing. She’s really, really smart. I told her at the very beginning when she started this. I said, ‘You’re smart and beautiful. Let the stupid people get punched in the face.’ ”

If this is it for Rousey, who turns 30 in February, she’ll leave as the biggest star in the sport. She was 12-2 and won six UFC title fights before losing to Holm.