LOS ANGELES — While Holly Holm felt compassion after learning Ronda Rousey had suicidal thoughts following their bout last year, the UFC bantamweight champion is fairly certain Rousey wouldn't want her sympathy.
Holm stopped Rousey with a head kick in November after dominating their bout for a stunning upset. In a recent interview on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, Rousey said she had suicidal thoughts shortly after her title reign ended.
"I don't ever take anything like that lightly,'' Holm said. "I've never been in that position. I'm probably the worst person to ask for advice on that. I definitely don't want to sit here and say, 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' because I know for me, I (have) a competitive mind, and I'm confident that Ronda is the same, that you don't really want sympathy from the one that created this. That almost makes it even more frustrating.''
Rousey said the thoughts were only momentary, and she intends to fight again. She is expected to get an eventual rematch with Holm, who is preparing for her first title defence against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 in Las Vegas on March 5.
Holm is 10-0 in mixed martial arts, but she was brutally stopped by Anne Sophie Mathis in a boxing match in December 2011. Support from family and friends kept her focused after the loss.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: (R-L) Holly Holm of the United States punches Ronda Rousey of the United States in their UFC women's bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
"I got my eye stitched in the locker room and I went out to the press conference that night,'' Holm said. "I told myself, 'I need to face this right now. The longer I wait to face it, the inevitable is there.' ... For me, I would never get that low with a loss. I feel like, and maybe I'm a selfish person, I just think I want to get back there and win that for me. It's frustrating, and you deal with a lot of doubt in your mind: 'Maybe I'm not really as good as I thought I was.'''
Holm avenged that loss six months later, beating Mathis by decision.
Rousey also revealed her approach to losing in her interview with DeGeneres, saying that she believes "I'm still undefeated, because being defeated is a choice. Everybody has losses in their life, but I choose to always be undefeated.''
Holm doesn't relate to that, either.
"Maybe that's something that is coming out of a mouth that doesn't want to fully take in everything,'' Holm said. "Maybe this is her mentality. Maybe she needs to feel like she's undefeated and she's on top, and that's OK. For me, whenever I've had a loss, I want to say, 'Yep, why did I lose? Let's dig deep.' ... If this is your career, you have a little bit of ego. Otherwise you don't do this job. It's a hard one to take when you have a loss, to really just sit down and be honest with yourself. Because when you answer those questions, you're answering imperfections about yourself. That's not fun.''
"I definitely don't want to sit here and say, 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' because I know for me, I (have) a competitive mind, and I'm confident that Ronda is the same, that you don't really want sympathy from the one that created this."
Despite her loss, Rousey has advanced even deeper into popular culture. In the past three months, the budding actor has hosted "Saturday Night Live,'' appeared in a Super Bowl beer commercial and has been on the cover of the "Sports Illustrated'' swimsuit issue wearing nothing but body paint.
Holm, who shot a martial arts film last year, hopes she gets some of the same opportunities — but not at the expense of her real career.
"My job is my passion, which is fighting,'' Holm said. "If I had some time off in between fights, then I would like to. I've got a fight in front of me, and I wouldn't be able to actually enjoy those things right now.''
And as for Rousey's provocative attire in "Sports Illustrated,'' Holm also can't relate.
"I'd go for a suit,'' Holm said with a smile. "Nothing against it. Just personal preference, I'd go for a suit.''
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