Saturday, December 31, 2016

Former UFC bantamweight champion was very nearly media silent during UFC 207 fight week. She lost to defending champion Amanda Nunes on Friday night, making the lead story on CNN, a first for MMA. However, she did not appear at the post-fight press conference and was silent on her social network.

The fighter just released a statement to Ramona Shelburne for ESPN. Shelburne did the one major print interview of 2016 with Rousey.

“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,” wrote Rousey. “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.”

Rousey made no reference to retiring, although she has stated she is winding her career down. A crushing loss like this one, the fastest win of Nunes’s career, has likely wound the career to an end.