With Ronda Rousey preparing to re-enter the sport, her life is about to become a very complicated pressure cooker. Some thrive on that atmosphere, but others, people like myself, can find it to be overwhelming.
The press tour, training for her comeback and the roiling ocean of emotions she’ been experiencing over the past year after her first loss is about to come together in a way that will either make or break her. I like Ronda and hope she bounces back in a way that redefines her, both as a person and in her career.
I’ve done a big media tour when our season of The Ultimate Fighter was about to drop, and I know how much stress something like that can induce. Magnify that two or three times, and that’s what you’re looking at when Ronda starts her media tour.
When you’re one of the biggest names in women’s sports as a whole, not just MMA, your PR schedule is likely a nightmare looking for a bed to sleep in. Coming back from a loss, her first one, will be the ultimate test for her, I believe.
Suffering your first loss can be devastating, especially when you’re on the biggest platform in the world. Going in, she was unstoppable, on top of the world. Nothing could touch her. She was unbeatable…until Holly did the seemingly impossible, and knocked her out.
A media tour takes so much focus away from your training and the things that are important. That’s what’s becoming increasingly more difficult with fighting. Where it used to be all about the fight, these days, it’s about a 60/40 split. It’s more about the media than it is about the training, dieting, keeping your mind right and everything you need to keep your win column stocked.
Hopefully she’s gotten past her loss, which is very hard to do. I know from experience. I remember when I was kickboxing, there was a girl I trained with and she was a fantastic athlete. She was strong and quick, with a record of 21-0 or something. She got her first loss, and she never came back. It was that devastating to her.
I think it’s harder for people that have never been in that situation before. I know the media is going to be asking questions she might not want to answer. They’re going to ask about the loss, about her personal life and about her training.
I know what you’re thinking, why does it matter if they ask about her training? It’s because so much has been made about her decision to stay with Tarverdyan after all the criticism he’s received. Even her mother had some harsh things to say about him.
If you really believe that somebody is good for you, nobody will really be able to sway you. That’s kind of a good quality to have, that kind of unwavering loyalty. I don’t really believe it’s anybody’s place to say that she needs to get rid of her coach.
She’s a smart girl. She’ll figure out on her own what’s good for her and her career and what’s not. It’s something that she has to work out for herself, though.
Ronda’s got a really tough challenge ahead of her in Amanda Nunes. It will certainly be interesting to see how this next chapter unfolds.