Ronda Rousey took several weeks away from the spotlight after her shocking defeat at the hands of Holly Holm in Australia last month, but she recently gave an interview to ESPN and opened up about the fight, the aftermath, and her relationship with fellow fighter Travis Browne…a topic she has strictly avoided in the past.
The former UFC champ spoke a bit about her time with Browne, saying he makes her feel safe in a world where the spotlight is almost constantly trained on her, looking for weaknesses. He’s the boyfriend who makes her breakfast and lets her sleep in when she needs it most, she says. So when his ex, Jenna Renee Webb, accused him of domestic violence earlier this year–via Twitter–Rousey was at a loss as to what to do.
“It’s hard, it’s really hard. I’m very anti-domestic violence. But I know that he didn’t do anything. Now I’m put in this situation where I’m finally happy with somebody that respects me and cares about me, and I’m like, ‘What do I do?'” Rousey says in the interview. “At the end of the day, I can’t curl up with people’s opinions. Even when everyone thinks the world of me, I still go to bed anxious and freaking out because I’m afraid of everything. The only time I’ve gotten a reprieve from that feeling in my life is since I’ve been with him.”
Browne has always denied the abuse allegations, and an investigation into the claims by the UFC proved inconclusive of any wrongdoing. For Ronda, the controversial decision to stand by Browne was compounded by the reaction she got from Webb, who said Rousey would see his “true colors” soon enough.
“Why can’t people have some confidence or trust in me that I would make a good decision and be with a good man regardless of how it looks?” Rousey said.
Ronda took some time off after her loss to Holm and went on a hunting trip with Browne, staying off social media other than to assure fans immediately after the fight that she was okay. The match was a shocking upset for just about everyone, Rousey included. Afterward, she says, she was embarrassed and was left to nurse injuries inflicted by Holm’s kick to the face. Now, the women are facing a rematch put together by UFC President Dana White, but it’s unclear when exactly it will happen. For now, Ronda Rousey is healing.