Ronda Rousey is the UFC women’s bantamweight champion and considered one of the toughest women in the world. Not only is she a world champion in MMA, but she is also one of the best in the world in judo. But as tough as she is, even Rousey is not immune to depression.
In a short called “Rowdy Ronda Rousey” for ESPN’s Nine for IX documentary series, Rousey says she battled depression after winning a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
“The uncertainty after the Olympics was really hard. Because after the high of having a medal, I fell into a deep depressions of not having any goals. I just kind of felt like I was done with judo. And judo wasn’t making me happy anymore, so I had to figure something out,” Rousey recalls in the film.
“I remember going into MMA gyms and boxing gyms and feeling kind of embarrassed and out of place and not really welcomed and not taken seriously. I would be super self-conscious and I would be envious of the kind of respect that I saw some of the guys in the gym receiving.”
The film will not debut on ESPNW until July 28, but ESPN played that clip from it on “SportsCenter” Thursday.
Rousey has come a long way since those times. She made her MMA debut in Aug. 2010 and in less than two years became the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight champion. She was so impressive in building a name for herself that Dana White brought her into the UFC a few months later. Now she will be fighting Alexis Davis on Saturday.
It seems like Rousey is on top of the world and unbreakable, so this is a good reminder that even the best and most dominant athletes in the world have overcome a lot of adversity in their lives. We already knew that for Rousey that was overcoming the death of her father. Now we know that she also dealt with depression.