Former men’s bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz appeared recently on the Joe Rogan Experience and offered some wise words for former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey lost her title on November 15, 2015, to Holly Holm, and then failed to recapture the belt vs. Amanda Nunes on December 30, 2016. Cruz lost his belt the same night, to Cody Garbrandt. Prior to that he had lost a WEX title shot to Urijah Faber in 2007, and saw his belt vacated when he did not fight from 2011 to 2014, after a series of knee injuries.
Rousey responded to her losses by receding from the spotlight. Prior to that, she had been the most famous fighter in MMA history. For example, in 2015, she was the #3 most searched for person on Google; #4 was Donald Trump. By contrast, Cruz offered credit to Garbrandt, and described, accurately, the loss as an inevitable part of fighting – the reason you have a fight is you don’t know who is going to win. Still, Cruz was empathetic.
“It’s heartbreaking for me, I know what she’s feeling, I know what she’s going through,” said Cruz, as transcribed by Milan Ordoñez for BE. “And as a female, it’s even on another level, I can’t really imagine that. It’s a different level of scrutiny, I would imagine.”
“It shows how hard it is to deal with this, man. The ups and downs. Because the downs hit hard, just as hard as the ups hit. There can’t be any separation in who you are with the win and a loss because if there is, it’s gonna show. And you got to be who you are and not be solely connected to fighting as your whole being. Otherwise, you’re over when it ends.”
“We’re all putting so much into this one thing that we think that is our everything. When really, it sounds cheesy, but if you put all that energy towards loving yourself and not the fight career, the fight career will still be there just as heavy as it is.”
“She’s using the fighting as her identity. With that championship belt, she is Ronda Rousey, the Ronda Rousey. Without the championship belt, we don’t know who she is. She won’t come out. So, who are you unless you’re winning? We don’t know. Do you know?”
“You’re counting on that belt to know who you are now. And that was my biggest point. That was a hurdle I ran into when I lost my belt. I didn’t know who I was anymore. And that’s how I knew this. That’s how I figured out what my issues were.”