UFC 207, it seems like the only relevant question in MMA for the time being. Having suffered a second straight shocking defeat, in much the same fashion as the first, Ronda Rousey has seen her star fade into oblivion. She remains arguably the biggest name in the sport, but the question of whether or not she should even remain in that sport is being asked all across the internet—and with good reason.
Once upon a time, it seemed impossible that we would get to this point. Not only was Rousey an undefeated fighter with a celebrity pedigree and a blossoming acting career, but she seemed so head and shoulders above the rest of her competition it was almost pointless to watch her fight. At one point, in reference to Rousey's first bout with Miesha Tate, an article on MMA odds referred to Rousey's chances as an easy route to folding money—the kind of language you never hear in competitive sports markets.
She was 12-0, with nine wins by submission, and had gained a reputation for ending fights before they really became interesting. Then there was Holly Holm, whose upright, boxing-based style put an abrupt end to Rousey's dominance. Then there was UFC 207, where Amanda Nunes used a similar style to end Rousey's highly anticipated comeback in under a minute. But you knew all of that. The question is what happens now for a woman who seemed to be on top of the fighting world not so very long ago.
As we've written before, Rousey would retire if it were up to her mother. She claims to have felt the same way some time ago, but it can't have helped matters seeing Rousey knocked out so brutally in consecutive fights. Of course, it's not up to Rousey's mother, but the fighter herself.
In that respect, it's worth remembering that Rousey indicated she was wrapping it up soon after her comeback. That doesn't mean that she intended for the Nunes fight to be her last—in fact, her language suggested otherwise. But it does indicate that she considers herself to be in the final stages of her storied career. In fact, she specifically referred to the comeback as "one of" her last fights, which seems to imply she may even have a specific outline of what she plans to do next.
Additionally, though she initially spoke of having hit rock bottom after the loss to Nunes, Rousey seems to have recovered more quickly than she did after the Holm fight. In a recent Instagram post, she quoted author J.K. Rowling with a message of hope about building a foundation (from rock bottom) for the rest of her life. Given that the fighter was reportedly contemplating suicide at one point in the aftermath of her loss to Holm, it's encouraging to see her striking this tone. Again, it seems to indicate that she wants another shot at redemption.
As for when that shot will come or what it will look like, it's still anybody's guess. It may be true at this point that Rousey's only shot at regaining her reputation would be to come back and defeat Holm, Nunes or both. However, the way those fights have gone, she may be better off getting back on her feet against the type of fighter she used to defeat so easily. A third defeat in a row would likely be the end.