Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Ronda Rousey has revealed that her brutal knockout loss to Holly Holm, when she surrendered her bantamweight title, last November was a blessing in disguise.
The California-born fighter is returning to the octagon for the first time since her loss last year and despite rivals questioning her mental state after her knockout, the fighter believes the loss helped her evolve as a person.
Rousey was ever present in the media ahead of her fight with Holm last November, she had built up a lot of hype about the fight and was confident about beating the Albuquerque-born fighter. She even posted a warning about the 'beating' she was about to receive the following day after the UFC 193 weigh in.
This time around, however, Rousey has stayed away from the limelight and chosen to focus on her training away from the public eye. She has given interviews very selectively, but in a wide ranging interview with ESPN she made it clear that 'revenge' and 'redemption' is high on her agenda when she steps into the cage on 30 December to take on reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"That loss saved me from becoming what I hate. One of those people who live their lives to impress everyone else. Who put up a front for the world to admire. Who make sure every charitable act is posted and shared for their own image gain. Who posture and pose for people they care nothing about except for the opinion they have of them," Rousey told ESPN.
"I will never put my body at risk for money and views ever again. What makes me happy is winning and being the best in the world and that's it. F--- all the promotion and energy spent on anything that's not me winning. And anyone who tries to tell me I owe them energy on frivolous s--- during camp out of 'loyalty' or 'friendship' deserves no loyalty from me and is no friend of mine.
"This is not a time for f---ing favors. This is a time for redemption and revenge," the former bantamweight champion added.