Thirteen months after suffering the first defeat of her MMA career, Ronda Rousey returned to the Octagon against reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. A fellow MMA star thinks that was a bad move.
Anderson Silva, who was one of the biggest names in the promotion before Rousey started her UFC run, offered some advice to the former champion after her loss to Nunes on Dec. 30.
"Regardless of what happened, regardless of what will happen in your life, you have to keep your head up because what you've done is in history,” Silva said during an interview to Brazilian TV show Combate News. "Regardless of wins and losses, you have to worry about what you think its important in your life.
"I hope 2017 is a year of more accomplishments. If you continue fighting, I hope you come back well. My personal and technical opinion as a fighter is that you should choose better your opponents in your comeback. Don't fight someone who’s so active as the champion. That was a wrong strategy. I hope you come back because you are a great athlete. God bless you.”
Rousey was one of the most active fighters in the UFC roster as champion, and “The Spider” doesn’t think her busy life outside the Octagon played a big factor in her losses.
"When Ronda did those movies, she had enough time to prepare. It happens,” Silva said. "She was away from fighting for a long time (before UFC 207), and lack of rhythm can become an issue. I don’t take anything away from the champion, she’s in a good run and I hope she continues and wins against whoever they put in front of her and stays as champion for the rest of her career, but those are things that happen. You get in there and you’re taking the risk of losing or winning. It’s natural. People have to understand that."
Like Rousey, Silva was one of the most dominating fighters in the game before suffering his first UFC defeat. “The Spider” reigned in the middleweight division and also scored several wins at light heavyweight before losing to Chris Weidman in 2013.
Since then, the Brazilian has only won one of five bouts, and had that victory — a unanimous decision against Nick Diaz in 2015 — overturned to a no contest after failing a drug test. So as Silva officially stands winless since a 2012 first-round TKO over Stephan Bonnar in Rio de Janeiro, he talked about bouncing back and staying focused during tough times.
"I always dealt well with a loss,” Silva said, "especially because I had losses in the beginning of my career, in a time where I couldn’t afford to lose because if I lost, I would have no way to provide for my family and put food on the table. Losses are part of the sport."