UFC legend Ronda Rousey disappeared immediately following her stunning 48-second loss to Amanda Nunes on Friday, but that didn’t stop fans on social media from crafting some of the meanest digs at the fallen champ ever.
No, we’re not going to recap most of them, just trust us, it got pretty nasty pretty quickly. Even Nunes — mostly gracious and professional following her win — weighed in on Twitter with a Photoshopped image of Rousey as a crying baby in a stroller with Nunes hovering over her.
Some of the digs at Rousey weren’t completely shocking given her apparent disrespect of past opponents (not shaking hands, etc.) and recent refusal to address the media. But despite that, several major sports stars rushed to Rousey’s defense following her defeat by offering public shows of support.
Among Rousey’s supporters were NBA Lakers great Kobe Bryant turned venture capitalist, who tweeted, “Instead of clapping for @RondaRousey defeat give her a standing O for putting the sport on the map #pioneer #muse.”
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 31, 2016
Another NBA future Hall of Famer, LeBron James, also offered a sympathetic take. “In sports, in general, they build you up as high as they can, put you on the highest mountain in the world, just to tear you down. That’s coming from somebody who has experienced it. And that’s exactly what she’s going through right now,” James told the Akron Beacon Journal. “That’s a fact. I know exactly how she feels because I was that athlete. I went through that.”
Perhaps most telling were the words of support from fellow UFC champion Jon Jones, one of the organization’s top stars who has been mired in personal problems and controversy for several years.
“My advice to Ronda would be to pick yourself up and try again,” said Jones on Twitter, just after the fight. “I believe Rousey will be a champion for the rest of her life, even if she never wins another fight.”
But Jones didn’t stop there, offering a few words of sage advice as someone who has been through the fire of losing the MMA spotlight under tough circumstances.
“I think it’s important for Ronda to show her fans how great she truly is by displaying her courage and giving it another try,” Jones said.
A photo posted by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on Jan 1, 2017 at 6:14am PST
Rousey’s defeat was so devastating that some have speculated that it may have been her last fight. However, in comments to ESPN following the fight, Rousey didn’t offer any hints about her future.
“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 told ESPN. “Sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned … I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.”
But whether or not Rousey returns to the octagon, what’s clear is that she has already earned the respect and admiration of some of the leading sports champions on the planet, which, in the end, may be the only championship belt anyone needs.
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