Ronda Rousey isn’t the first athlete to tumble from the mountaintop and she won’t be the last.
This is the perspective of LeBron James, who told the Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd on Saturday he knows how Rousey is feeling in the aftermath of her stunning loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. James said falling down is part of a superstar athlete’s life in this day and age.
“In sports, in general, they build you up as high as they can, put you on the highest mountain in the world, just to tear you down,” James told Lloyd. “That’s coming from somebody who has experienced it. And that’s exactly what she’s going through right now. That’s a fact. I know exactly how she feels because I was that athlete. I went through that.”
Nunes beat Rousey on Friday via TKO, ending the UFC icon’s grand return to the octagon after just 48 seconds.
Rousey once dominated the women’s bantamweight division, but two losses in 13 months have prompted many to question her future in the sport. James is one of them.
“You don’t know her mindset,” he said. “You don’t know the drive, is the drive still there? You don’t know. But you can tell that it’s built and built and built and built and built, they always make the teardown story more important than how long it took for her to actually get to the mountaintop.”
James returned to basketball’s summit in June when he led the Cleveland Cavilers to their first-ever NBA title.
Rousey, 29, has time to author her own redemption story and follow the familiar path others have walked before her.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images