In an emotional interview with Ellen DeGeneres last week, Ronda Rousey said that she considered suicide after losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November. Rousey, who entered the fight 12-0, was a heavy favorite but got knocked out on a kick to the head in the second round.
It was stunning – and, for Rousey, devastating.
Still, what do we make of the fact that she apparently had suicidal thoughts after losing?
“I obviously saw the headlines, but I wanted to watch the show myself and actually see what she said before I made a comment on it,” UFC host and reporter Megan Olivi said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I really do understand. The whole world was watching, she put everything on the line – she works her butt off, man. She’s one of the hardest workers not only in the sport, but in all of sports – and I get that. The whole world just saw you get dismantled.”
Rousey was clearly flummoxed in the first round against Holm, struggling to get inside and taking repeated shots to the head and body.
“I was back stage at that fight and I kind of saw everything go down,” Olivi said. “Fighters, this is not just something they do just to make money. This is everything to them. And so I understand that. She’s dealt with some really rough things throughout her life. Unfortunately, it was something that I could understand her saying. It’s not something you ever want to hear anyone say or you ever want to believe to be true in someone’s mind, but I get it. It’s incredible disappointment, and in that moment when everything is lost, it’s hard to remember all the good you have in your life as you sit backstage having a stretcher come out for you to get on because you just got knocked out in front of the world. So I do get why she said that.”
Olivi doesn’t think Rousey’s suicidal thoughts lasted long. She also thinks they may wind up helping people who are dealing with their own personal demons.
“I think it was probably one of those split-second, a-minute-or-two thoughts and then she realized what she has in life,” Olivi said. “It was really sad and I’m glad she shared that with the world. Because no matter if you’re in sports or you’re a school teacher – whatever it may be – there are people who have those thoughts and might have those thoughts a lot more frequently than Ronda did. So I feel like she did a lot of good with that statement. And the way she handles herself now and of course in the preparation of the rematch – but really right now when there isn’t anything in front of her in terms of a fight – I think that’s going to be an inspiration for a lot of people and I think she’s going to do a lot of good with that.”