Two-time Olympic Judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison has offered up her thoughts on her friend Ronda Rousey’s tough loss at UFC 207 last weekend.
In an interview with TMZ, Harrison suggested that perhaps it was time for Rousey to take a long hard look at whether the people around her really have her best interests at heart.
“I think she has a lot of people maybe around her that don’t necessarily have Ronda’s best interest at heart,” Harrison said. “I think she needs to take a good, hard look at that and maybe go back to day one, maybe go back to her family, maybe go back to her original coaches who helped her be successful, and say, ‘okay, I really know these people do care about me. Not as a fighter, not as a money-making machine, not as an actress, not as a celebrity. But as Ronda.”
Harrison also questioned whether it was a good idea for Rousey to head straight back into a title fight against a high-flying fighter like Amanda Nunes after taking over a year out of the Octagon.
“I really expected her to come back with a vengeance and to come back bigger and better than ever. But I’m not with her now, so I don’t know what her training has been like, where her mind was at. When I talked to her a couple of weeks ago, she seemed good about it, but I think one thing I would have done differently is not have her fight for the title right away, you know?
“She probably should have had a match before that match, just to kind of get back in the swing of things. The thing about judo and when we used to fight, is like, I might lose at the Paris Grand Slam, but a month later I’m going to be fighting at the Hungary Grand Prix so I’m always in it, I’m always training. I’m always looking for that next fight. I don’t have a year to think about that loss, or to think about how bad that felt or to psych myself out to get back in the cage, or in my case, back onto the mat. So I think she should have gotten, I don’t want to call it a warm up fight, but she should have sort of eased back into it, versus jumping into a title fight like that.”
The 26 year-old Harrison is currently preparing to follow in Rousey’s footsteps by embarking on her own MMA journey, with the current plan being to make her debut at 145lbs in 2017 after signing with the WSOF promotion a few months ago.