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Ronda Rousey’s nutrition coach believes it’s ’50-50’ she returns to UFC

UFC 207 photos
Ronda Rousey stands in the center of the cage with Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ronda Rousey’s nutrition coach has not closed the door on the thought of her fighting again.

Mike Dolce, who has been with Rousey for years, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he believes there’s a “50-50 chance” she returns to the UFC. Nothing would shock him, he said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised either way,” Dolce said. “I want to make sure that’s contextual. If she says, ‘I want to be back for Super Bowl weekend or the July 4th card,’ I would not be surprised in the slightest. If she says, ‘I’ve done my thing in MMA, I’m gonna retire as a legend in the sport, specifically for WMMA,’ I wouldn’t be surprised, either. I truly think it’s 50-50 right now.”

Rousey fell in a title fight against Amanda Nunes by TKO in just 48 seconds Friday night in the main event of UFC 207. That’s two straight knockout losses for Rousey. She lost the UFC women’s bantamweight title to Holly Holm by second-round KO at UFC 193 in November 2015.

Many have speculated that those performances will drive Rousey, the biggest mainstream name in the UFC, out of the sport. “Rowdy,” who paved the way for women in the UFC, has many other opportunities out there in Hollywood and beyond. Rousey’s mother AnnMaria De Mars told TMZ on Friday night that she’d like to see Rousey retire.

“I think it’s gonna take some time,” Dolce said. “I don’t think she truly knows right now. As any good athlete, she should take her time to really think about it.”

Like UFC president Dana White said over the weekend, Rousey was not as crushed following this loss as she was after Holm. Rousey said on “Ellen” earlier this year that she had suicidal thoughts immediately after losing that fight.

Dolce said that is not the case now. He said he has not spoken to Rousey directly since the fight, but has been in contact with her team.

“No, there’s no concern about that,” Dolce said about Rousey having those thoughts again. “She’s in a great place. She has an amazing support system around her, truly. I think she’s at an excellent point in her life. And this is my personal opinion, what happened in Australia against Holly, that was like a death. It was the death — and she had said — of who she wanted to be and what she wanted to be.”

Dolce also scoffed at any notion that Rousey was not ready for this fight. He said Rousey had started on his nutrition program four months out of the fight, different than her usual eight weeks. She was already in the mid-140s two months out and on weight throughout fight week, he said.

“That shows the dedication of the athlete,” Dolce said. “She had really made some lifestyle changes, put her training first. So I don’t think, there’s no excuses. She did everything and had every opportunity to be perfectly prepare and she was for this fight. Kudos have to go to Amanda Nunes for putting on an amazing performance and going out there and getting the win over Ronda Rousey, who was well-prepared.”

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