Ronda Rousey broke her silence Monday, taking to Instagram with her first post since her Dec. 30 loss to Amanda Nunes:
Rousey had been radio silent since her first-round knockout loss to Nunes at UFC 207, save for a statement provided to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne on Jan. 2:
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.
Nunes needed just 48 seconds to stop the fight against Rousey, once considered perhaps the most dominant fighter on the planet. Rousey was returning to mixed martial arts for the first time since losing her UFC Bantamweight Championship to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015. The 29-year-old won her first 12 career MMA fights, 11 of which ended in the first round.
But the Rousey who showed up at UFC 207 looked different from the world-beater she once was. Rousey looked timid in her approach against Nunes, a stout puncher who sent her opponent sprawling to the ground with hard punches to the face.
She appeared shaken as Nunes raised her hand in victory, and UFC President Dana White revealed Rousey cried on his shoulder after the fight.
"I must have tears, blood and boogers all over my f--king jacket. I went in there and hugged her for 45 minutes," White said, per Shelburne. "I told her, 'I love you so much, and whatever you want to do next, I got your back. You built this. This doesn't exist without you. You're the best decision I ever made.'"
It's unclear what the future holds. At the height of her fame, Rousey appeared in national commercials and appeared to be carving out a role in Hollywood. A remake of Road House with Rousey as the lead is still scheduled to be released on an undisclosed date.
Two definitive losses may see Rousey's national star lacking some of its luster. It's possible she'll return to the UFC for one more comeback. Much of the criticism in the aftermath of her loss to Nunes has fallen on coach Edmond Tarverdyan. If Rousey makes a change and comes back, perhaps her story can turn around inside the Octagon.
What's clear is that Rousey believes she's hit "rock-bottom." What she does from there will be fascinating to watch.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.