LOS ANGELES -- UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm was among those who watched former champion Ronda Rousey's recent appearance on the popular daytime program "The Ellen DeGeneris Show."
In a tearful interview, Rousey confessed that she considered suicide after her head-kick knockout loss to Holm at UFC 193. Later, Rousey said that as far is she is concerned, she is still undefeated.
Holm was asked at a Monday media event in downtown Los Angeles for her opinion on Rousey's remarks. The thoughtful champion took a nuanced approach to a very heavy issue.
"I want to make sure everyone knows I don't take anything like that lightly," said Holm, who defends her title against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 on March 5 in Las Vegas. "It's a serious subject. I've never been in that position, So I'm probably the worst person to give advice for that."
Additionally, Holm is cognizant that commenting on such matters could come off as condescending, since her victory was what put Rousey in a mental spiral, so she chose her words toward Rousey carefully.
"I don't want to sit here and say ‘I'm so sorry,'" Holm said. "You don't want sympathy from the person who created this, because I know that's probably frustrating. I do want to say that I really think it's definitely a good thing to always surround yourself with the best people, people who care about you."
Where Holm might differ from Rousey, though, is in their approach to handling defeat. While Holm is undefeated in mixed martial arts, she's lost twice in boxing, including a knockout loss to Annie Sophie Mathis in 2010 which she avenged the following year.
And while she doesn't come out and use these exact words, Holm inferred Rousey's "undefeated" comment may show she's still in a state of denial about the loss.
"Maybe that's something that's coming out of her mouth that doesn't really want to fully take in everything," Holm said. "I know for me, any loss that I had, it is a very, very hard thing to swallow. You have to be honest with yourself. Everyone is mentally different."
As far as Holm is concerned, defeat is a time for self-reflection, and the sooner you can admit that you lost, the faster you go about figuring out why it happened, so you can improve.
"I lost that [boxing] fight," Holm said. "Why did I lose that fight? I lost, I didn't perform well, I didn't do what I was supposed to do. And for me, I needed to be honest with myself and what I was supposed to do. And for me to get better, I didn't want to think that was just a freak deal, because then I never would have changed things."
Holm, for her part, started the ball rolling on the rebound from her loss by showing up for the press conference afterwards.
"For me, I got knocked out, and I got stitched up and I went to the press conference that night. I told myself, ‘I need to face this right now.' The longer I wait to face it, I have to face it no matter what, let's do this now."
But Holm says what works for her may not be best for others.
"I'm not saying this is how other people are supposed to be," Holm said. "This is how my mind works. So maybe she needs to feel like that's her mentality. Maybe she needs to feel she's undefeated and she's on top. For me? Whenever I had a loss, I want to say yes, I lost."