Thursday 27 April 2017

'I need to take some time to reflect ': Ronda Rousey breaks silence after shocking comeback loss

Ronda Rousey has said she will "take some time to reflect and think about the future" after her UFC comeback lasted just 48 seconds in a brutal loss to Amanda Nunes on Friday night.

Rousey was seeking to regain the bantamweight championship she lost in November 2015 to Holly Holm, her first defeat in the UFC, but she proved no match for Nunes as her Brazilian opponent rained down punches from the opening bell.

There have been suggestions the 29-year-old Rousey, whose only two defeats in the UFC have come in her last two fights, may now retire despite remaining the most high-profile woman in the sport.

A statement released to ESPN on Saturday night will not dampen that speculation.

"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. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me," Rousey said in the statement

"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 was reportedly paid three million US dollars for this bout, but proved no match for Nunes who said afterwards: "I'm here to stay."

Nunes, who defended the title she won earlier this year by defeating Miesha Tate, landed several heavy blows that wobbled Rousey, forcing the referee to intervene after less than a minute of the contest at UFC 207 in Las Vegas.

A triumphant Nunes said in quotes on the UFC's website: "Before I walked out, (my team and I) talked, and this moment was my moment.

"(Rousey) had her time, she did a lot for the sport. I thank Ronda Rousey. But right now, I showed I'm the champion and I'm here to stay."

Press Association

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