Ronda Rousey was ridiculed on social media over the weekend following her loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Friday. However, world renowned athletes such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Jon Bones Jones have lent support to the American fighter.
Rousey lasted all of 48 seconds during his much-anticipated return to the Octagon and was instantly subjected to the wrath of social media posters -- who created a series of memes featuring a wobbly Rousey.
James, who became "a villain" during his stint with the Miami Heat between 2010 and 2014, cited his personal experience of dealing with detractors and asked Rousey to stay strong during the turbulent time.
“In sports, in general, they (the media, critics) build you up as high as they can, put you on the highest mountain in the world, just to tear you down. That’s coming from somebody who has experienced it. And that’s exactly what she’s (Rousey) going through right now. That’s a fact. I know exactly how she feels because I was that athlete. I went through that," James, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, told Beacon Journal on Saturday.
LeBron James has sound advice for Ronda Rousey
Upon returning to hometown Cleveland in 2014, James instantly went from "villain" to "hero" and the basketball star wishes the same for Rousey, who is yet to declare her future plans. “You don’t know her mindset. 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," added James while sympathising with Rousey.
Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant, who hung up his boots earlier this year after a phenomenal 20-year career, cited Rousey as a pioneer for putting MMA's women fighters on the map.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 31, 2016
Jon Bon Jones, often referred to as the most successful UFC fighter in history, tweeted a picture of her:
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) January 1, 2017
Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers star, called out social media critics and said none of them would know of the pressure that Rousey has had to deal with since her loss to Holly Holm last November.
Hope Rousey is fine mentally and spiritually after this fight. Most of you will never know the pressure! Yet y'all gone talk crazy smh
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) December 31, 2016
After failing to re-capture the UFC bantamweight championship, Rousey told ESPN via a statement that she needed time to reflect about her future, hinting at a possible retirement from the sport.
"I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me.
"I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding," she added in the statement.
Ronda Rousey has a blossoming career in Hollywood. She has appeared in movies such as "Entourage", "Furious 7" and "The Expendables 3" and could transition to the entertainment industry in the future.