Last year Ronda Rousey was on top of the world. She was a leading UFC fighter, the reigning champion dominating the industry and achieving a level of celebrity very few female athletes do, even in this supposed-to-be-enlightened era.
However, late last year Rousey lost a match to Holly Holm and she decided to speak on the Ellen DeGeneres Show about how this professional upset led to thoughts about killing herself. After the fight Rousey was brought to a hospital following the kick to the head which knocked her out.
“Honestly, my thought in the medical room, I was sitting in the corner and was like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?'” she said. “Literally sitting there thinking about killing myself. In that exact second, I’m like, ‘I’m nothing. What do I do anymore? No one gives a shit about me anymore without this.'”
Rousey says the only thing that got her through the moment was thinking about her boyfriend, Travis Browne, a UFC heavyweight: “I looked up and saw my man, Travis, was standing there. I’m looking up at him and was just like, ‘I need to have his babies. I need to stay alive.'”
Ellen was a supportive listener throughout, saying, “There are a lot of people out there who have thoughts like that” and later thanked the 29-year-old for choosing to open up about her struggle, “You just did a lot of good for a lot of people.”
It’s a raw interview and groundbreaking in how Rousey isn’t afraid to open up about dark thoughts that celebrity land tries to gloss with a social media veneer. Rousey was upset about her loss – and we’re pretty certain the social media backlash regarding her unexpected knock-out didn’t help – and she wasn’t going to shy away from the emotions that coursed through her at the time.
We’re glad she’s open and willing to talk about her feelings, and how she’s trying to overcome the negativity.
Rousey covers Sports Illustrated this month as part of their ground-breaking Swimsuit Issue, which this year features three different cover stars with three different body types.
If you found yourself affected by anything in this article, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit their website samaritans.org