Seemingly nothing could stop Ronda Rousey as recently as last November, before losing to Holly Holm and giving up the bantamweight title. The experience was so hard on Rousey that she admitted suicidal thoughts during the days that followed losing.
She has since recovered, physically and emotionally, and will presumably fight new champ Miesha Tate later this year in an effort to reclaim her title. And while her first loss was certainly humbling, the 29-year-old is now admitting that it was necessary for her career to move on.
"When it comes to challenges, I honestly believe that things happen for a reason. At the time yes it's hard on a personal, emotional level and it's hard to look past what's happening to the future, but you have to believe in yourself because down the line in two, five, ten years' time you'll look back and think that was actually the best thing that ever happened to me. Every single setback it's not the end of the world, it's just the beginning of that lesson. That had to happen for me to learn these certain things and it's not about being completely infallible, it's about getting better and there's no room for improvement in perfect."
Rousey largely disappeared in the weeks and months following the defeat to Holm, but has been more visible lately, even hosting "Saturday Night Live" in January.
Now with an official MMA record of 12-1, Rousey will have a chance to show her fans that her focus is still centered on fighting by beating Tate, presumably this summer.
- By John Dorn
See photos of Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey through the years
Ronda Rousey on loss to Holly Holm: 'That had to happen to me'
SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 5: Ronda Rousey (in blue) competes with Grace Jividen in their 63 kg match during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Judo on June 5, 2004 at the San Jose State University Event Center in San Jose, California. In winning Rousey made the US Olympic team. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Ronda Rousey of the USA happily displays her first World Cup gold medal during the Fighting Films Birmingham Women's World Cup on Saturday, April 01, 2006 at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England, UK. (Photo by David Finch/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - APRIL 14: Martial artist Ronda Rousey poses for a portrait during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summitt at the Palmer House Hilton on April 14, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
United States Ronda Rousey (blue) and Germany's Annett Boehm compete in their women's -70kg judo bronze medal match of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing. US Ronda Rousey won the bronze medal. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ronda Rousey poses with her bronze medal on the podium for the women's -70kg judo competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing. Japan's Masae Ueno won the gold, Cuba's Anaysi Hernandez won the silver, US Ronda Rousey and Netherlands Edith Bosch won the bronze medals. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 11: Ronda Rousey poses for a portrait on August 11, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kari Hubert/Zuffa LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Fighter Ronda Rousey attends the UFC On FOX: Live Heavyweight Championship held at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - MARCH 2, 2012: Ronda Rousey weighs in during the Strikeforce Tate v Rousey official weigh in at Columbus Convention Center on March 2, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 03: Ronda Rousey prepares to walk to the cage for her bantamweight championship fight with Miesha Tate during the Strikeforce event at Nationwide Arena on March 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 03: Ronda Rousey stands in her corner before facing Miesha Tate during their bantamweight championship fight during the Strikeforce event at Nationwide Arena on March 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Esther Lin/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 12: UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey of the United States holds an open workout for fans and media at Federation Square on November 12, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Amanda Nunes (right) lands a punch to the face of Ronda Rousey during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey reacts following her TKO defeat against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, MMA fighter Ronda Rousey and WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul 'Triple H' Levesque appear on the red carpet of the WWE Mae Young Classic on September 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE)