The dust has finally settled on UFC 207 and just as it
was on her last outing, the main focus surrounding the event is Ronda
Rousey's defeat. I've been meaning to write a blog on this subject for
awhile now, not about Rousey's loss specifically but about how
inhospitable the fight game can be.
At some point in your career this is going to be a very harsh
environment to be around, not only due to your body taking punishment and the
rigorous training regimes you'll have put yourself through, but the realization
that you can be revered and admired by people one minute and then quickly
criticized, slandered and then forgotten by these very same people.
How you deal with this is what will ultimately make or break
Only the other day I shared a post about Ricky Hatton
and how he had to deal with depression after his defeats against Mayweather
and Pacquiao. In the link he discusses how he contemplated suicide which
is something Rousey touched on after her first defeat.
Both of these athletes were constantly put in a positive light
by the media and supporters. Such was the hype and reverence that any negative
comments (If any) were barely noticeable.
So in my opinion they were not mentally equipped to deal with
what follows after a loss, especially at the level they were at and with the
power that social media has now. Everybody has a voice and an opinion whether
it be an educated one or not but It's only fairly recently that people have the
power to express that opinion to millions. If you are the topic at hand then you
need to be ready to receive the backlash of negative feedback and criticism that
inevitably comes as readily as the support.
My advice is to simply not read it or stew over it. At times
I've been guilty of responding online to some of the trolls when in reality it
would have been far better to just ignore them and not rise to the bait. Just
listen to the opinions of those who you respect and hold dear as they are the
ones who are truly looking out for your best interests.
It's also important that you're not surrounded by yes
men. If you want to improve and grow as an athlete then constructive criticism
and some harsh truths are occasionally needed, unfortunately it seems this is
something Rousey was lacking from her team and now she's the one that
will suffer the impact of a fall from such a high pedestal.
The venomous comments you see online can hurt at times but
that's only your ego so let it slide, you'll have a much more peaceful life.
Also some of the people you thought were friends will vanish and cling to the
next person they consider a star. These people think it heightens their own
reputation to be around people at the top of their game very much like those who
only ever support the football team at the top of the division. They're not
friends and never were so brush it off and move on.
None of the above is important and a loss does not mean the end
of a career but merely a chance to sit back and reflect on what went wrong and
how to improve.
The fight game is definitely not all peaches and cream but as
long you stay focused, ignore the negativity and enjoy what you're doing then
you'll have a happy ending when it's done and dusted.
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