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Nov 16, 2015
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DEAR RONDA,

With all deserved sensitivity to the happenings all over the world, I’m writing this because I saw my hero get knocked out cold yesterday.

Like most of your fans, I was stunned to see you crumple on the floor after that vicious head kick from Holly Holm, unable to defend yourself on your way to losing the UFC women’s bantamweight title.

Like you, I didn’t see that one coming.

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t planning to watch the fight. That’s how confident I was that you’d handle your business faster than it would’ve taken me to do my usual bathroom routine. I was wrong, like everybody was when we prematurely dismissed Holm’s chances against you.

She came to fight, and fight she did.

She bloodied you up in the first round. I was a bit worried but I continue watching, knowing that the fight probably wouldn’t make it past the first round. When it did, I stuck around to watch the second round, although looking back on it now; I should’ve just turned the TV off and went on my way. I didn’t want to watch what happened to you. I was stunned when I saw it. At one point, I just kept shaking my head seeing you knocked out in that ring.

But give Holly credit. She said she was going to stun the world and she did. She’s the champ now and she deserves every bit of praise thrown her away.

But just because you lost, it doesn’t mean that your career is already tainted. See, hindsight is a funny thing, Ronda, and the more I reflected on the fight, the more I realized that, aside from the obvious health concerns, you losing a fight was actually the best thing for your career. I didn’t expect it to happen the way it did, but a loss is a loss.

Nobody cares about “perfection” in the fight game, unless you're Floyd Mayweather Jr. Fighters build their résumés on wins and titles, but they build their legacies on the losses they’ve suffered throughout their careers. How they bounce back from these defeats will be the sticks on which their careers will be measured. There’s a reason why the word “redemption” sells in the fight game. People want to see the fallen heroine come back and reclaim her throne.

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You’ve been knocked out of your pedestal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stand up, brush yourself off, and take it back when you’re ready. I heard your comments about taking the time off to focus on your budding Hollywood career. That’s a good move. Clear your head of the fight game and focus on the things you’ve earned outside of the octagon.

Go ahead, make movies.

Live your life.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Go ahead, detach yourself from the sport and give your body and mind the rest they need. So that when that itch to break bones again comes back, you’re going to be laser-focused on being the queen of your sport.

I have faith in you, Ronda—as I’m sure a lot of your fans feel the same way.

You’re a champion through and through, and you don’t need belts to prove that. You've made genuine male fans in a male-dominated sport. You’ve empowered women all over the world through your words and your actions. You’ve shown us what it means to be strong physically, emotionally, and mentally, the way no other woman in the spotlight has in recent years.

Some will say that you've become too arrogant for your own good, but that's the way you've always survived, right? I'm hoping that it's also this arrogance that fuels your comeback bid—an arrogance that has learned how to respect another fighter's skills but still refuses to give in to any sort of fear.

That's the Ronda we know.

That's the Ronda we've always loved.

And that's the Ronda we still want to see. 

So as you navigate through the first setback of your career, we just want you to know that we're behind you. For all the times that you’ve told us to be strong, and to believe in ourselves when nobody else would, this is our time to return the favor.

We believe in you, Ronda.


SINCERELY YOURS,

A FAN

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