Ronda Rousey didn’t just lose her title at UFC 193 in November; a piece of her “died,” according to Rousey’s sister who penned an end-of-year essay for Vice.
In the essay, which hits back at Rousey’s detractors who delighted in the 28-year-old’s loss to Holly Holm, Rousey’s older sister Maria Burns-Ortiz says the loss left Rousey’s “soul crushed.”
“[W]e expected Ronda to win. Just like we always do. Just like we always will. But she didn’t,” Burns-Ortiz writes. “I haven’t rewatched it. I haven’t read about it. I won’t. I don’t see a point in reliving the moment when a part of my loved one died, when I saw someone I cared about have her soul crushed.”
Burns-Ortiz, who co-wrote Rousey’s bestselling memoir “My Fight/Your Fight,” used the essay to reveal the human side of her sister, who once proclaimed herself the UFC’s villain.
“I’m not the protagonist. I’m the antagonist,” Rousey told Joe Rogan on his podcast in August. “Because the protagonist just reacts. They do nothing. The whole story line, the whole everything that goes on, is completely dependent on the antagonist.”
Rousey’s bravado – she even went in on Holm, who is notoriously nice, before their November match – earned her both fans and detractors, the latter of which Burns-Ortiz took to task in her essay.
“Occasionally I wonder how people could say such awful things about someone they don’t even know, someone they’ve never met,” Burns-Ortiz writes. “I attribute it to the fact that their mothers probably didn’t love them enough, and then I briefly curse out the part of the Internet that allows people to hide behind anonymity as they let out the worst parts of themselves.”
“Sometimes, all you can do is think, ‘What the [expletive] is wrong with you people?’
“Then I move on with my life, because you can only waste so much time on other people’s stupidity.”
Rousey, who vowed to “be back” on her Instagram before retreating from media attention in the following weeks after the fight has since reemerged into the public eye. The star most recently showed up at the Marine Corps ball as a guest of a young soldier who had asked her to accompany him before Rousey’s loss.
For Rousey’s fans, her appearance was a good sign of things to come, but for Ortiz-Burns, she said she already knew her sister would be all right despite the end-of-year devastation.
“When some people reflect on Ronda and 2015, they will see it defined by a single event. They see it as the end. And in some ways, they’re right,” Ortiz-Burns writes, “but that only means we’re at a new beginning.”