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Rhonda Rousey, a mixed martial arts fighter, has been a media darling for several years.

mark hollisMany pundits consider her to be the most dominant female fighter that the world has ever seen. She even got into a spat with Floyd Mayweather as to who was the best pound for pound fighter. Rousey has been featured in a host of magazine articles, been a guest on numerous talk shows and she was even featured in movies such as, “Furious 7” and the “Expendables”. In 2015 she was voted by ESPN as the Best Female Athlete outpointing Serena Williams. To put it lightly, Rhonda Rousey was placed on a pedestal by the world of professional fighting and to quote a cliché “the world was her oyster”. Her strand of pearls broke, however; when she lost the Bantamweight Ultimate Fighting Championship title to Holly Holm in November 2015. Holm knocked out Rousey with a vicious kick to her head in the second round of their fight, handing Rousey her first loss in 13 professional contests. Holm’s MMA record is now 10–0.

The loss of her title led her into downward spiral. Her self-esteem took a hit and she contemplated thoughts of suicide in the immediate aftermath. While Rousey was sitting in the hospital room for treatment after the fight she is quoted saying, “”What am I anymore if I’m not this? I’m like; ‘I’m nothing. What do I do anymore? No one gives a s— about me anymore without this.'”

Many sports greats have lost championships and it’s how they react afterwards that makes them stronger for it. A losing effort is never planned in the war room; the X’s and O’s are there to emphasize a winning effort strategically. In Rousey’s case her loss to Holm, on such a national stage, and with all of the media hype lead to an unforeseen defeat. It embarrassed her and devastated her emotionally. She was not prepared physically or mentally for a defeat and walked into the ring assuming winning the fight would be a formality. Unfortunately, she bought into the hype of her greatness with a feeling of invincibility.

A proposed rematch with her and Holm was put on the back burner due to a scheduling conflict with Rousey’s film career. Holm now will be defending her title against Miesha Tate on March 5th in Las Vegas. So where does Rhonda Rousey go from here? If she has accepted a defeatist attitude she may move on and start that second career in acting. If in fact Rousey has accepted her defeat and goes back to her winning attitude, look for her to become more prepared than ever. I believe her loss will trigger a more intense strategy session that will lead to a winning campaign. Rhonda Rousey has a warrior’s heart and will “bring it” to her next matchup.