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Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey reveals why she doesn’t go to UFC events: ‘I’d be booed, that’s how it feels’

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Ronda Rousey was a cornerstone of UFC’s boom in the early to mid-2010s. The eyeballs she and Conor McGregor drew helped fuel the company’s $4 billion sale in 2016. Yet at the end of that year, she had an abrupt split from the sport.

Rousey retired from mixed martial arts after consecutive losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in 2015 and 2016. The former UFC bantamweight champion rarely spoke publicly about the defeats and quickly transitioned to a successful professional wrestling career with WWE. Rousey was perceived to be a sore loser. Some point to her lack of candor and sudden career change, but it’s a reputation she blames on the media.

“Ask the MMA media [why what I gave wasn’t enough] — they’re the ones saying it,” Rousey told the “High Performance” podcast. “That I was a fraud and I was hype and I was exposed and I was never anything and just lucky and all of these things, that I was ungracious or I was a loser or every other thing that I just assume at this point because I don’t take the time to read it.

Rousey believes the negative headlines about her tarnished her reputation with the fanbase. The UFC Hall of Famer does not attend UFC events and worries she’d be jeered if she did.

“Everything that could be said that was negative was said, and I feel really vilified by MMA media at this point and not really welcome back, which is why I haven’t gone to a UFC fight since,” Rousey said. “I’m pretty sure if I walked into the arena, I’d be booed. That’s how it feels.

“I guess I wish it didn’t [bother me]. I gave them everything I had, and it wasn’t enough. But that’s why a lot of people don’t give everything that they have, because they don’t want to face it if it wasn’t enough. I realize it was enough for me, but not enough for people on the outside. But it really wasn’t for them.”

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