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Comment: The Rousey Revolution: One year later

The Roar logo The Roar 18/10/2016 Justin Faux

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This time last year, Ronda Rousey was the first and only UFC women’s bantamweight champion, submitting opponents in fights that barely lasted longer than a Vine clip.

A lot can change in eleven months.

Holly Holm shattered Rousey’s aura of invincibility with a kick to the grill last November, and seemingly overnight fans and media alike began rewriting Rousey’s history.

The running theory that the golden-haired pay-per-view magnet was a protected species during her reign as UFC queen, and her status as the most accomplished female prizefighter in history was fabricated is downright ludicrous.

However, it’s fair to question whether or not Rousey will ever recapture her former glory.

We’ve never witnessed a more intense meltdown from any mixed martial arts fighter in the wake of a single defeat.

“In the medical room (following the loss) I was down in the corner and I was like ‘what am I anymore if I’m not this?,” a bawling Rousey said on The Ellen Degeneres Show in one of her sparse media appearances since being used as a punching bag last year in Melbourne.

“I was literally sitting there and thinking about killing myself. In that exact second I’m like ‘I’m nothing, what do I do anymore? and no one gives a s*** about me anymore without this’.”

It seems that the tough, no-nonsense, overconfident persona that Rousey wore on fight week was a veil, covering the insecurities that lie beneath.

With that veil removed for the world to see, can Rousey reinvent herself?

I don’t know.

Will Ronda Rousey be ever the same fighter she was before her loss to Holly Holm? © AP Photo/John Locher Will Ronda Rousey be ever the same fighter she was before her loss to Holly Holm? That doesn’t mean she cannot win her comeback fight, slated for December 31st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against newly-minted champion Amanda Nunes.

In Rousey’s absence, the 135-pound title has been passed around like a hot potato, being wrapped (albeit briefly) around the waists of Holm, Miesha Tate, and eventually Nunes.

The latter is a dangerous, yet beatable opponent for the two-time Olympian. She is a notoriously fast starter, who fades down the stretch and even has a loss on her resume to Alexis Davis – a woman Rousey pummelled into unconsciousness in just 16 seconds last year.

That being said, the Brazilian striker is also the most powerful puncher Rousey could encounter outside of 145-pound destroyer ‘Cyborg’ Justino and is more than capable of putting the returning champ’s lights out.

For all her boxing accomplishments, Holm was never a scary hitter, and she lit Rousey up like a Christmas tree – it’s safe to assume, if the Brazilian champ is given the same opportunity, Nunes would make short work of the talented judoka.

During her reign as the bulletproof champ, UFC boss Dana White always hyped Rousey as the “female Mike Tyson”, and in the wake of her shock loss to Holm that heavily mocked statement is almost becoming factual.

Both Rousey and Tyson skyrocketed to superstardom, had a short-yet-unforgettable reign atop their respective industry, then crashed and burned in dramatic fashion, each getting floored by an overlooked underdog.

In Tyson’s case, he was never the same fighter after he was flatlined by Buster Douglas in 1990. The following year he was arrested for sexually assaulting Desiree Washington and eventually spent three years behind bars for the crime.

When he did return to the ring, it was never the same. He won more than he lost, but Tyson never recaptured the magic that made him the most must-see boxer of his generation.

Only time will tell if Rousey, unlike Tyson, can return to the top of the mountain after the most devastating loss of her competitive career.

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