Ronda Rousey may be her own toughest opponent.
The UFC superstar and Sports Illustrated cover model showed a vulnerable side on Tuesday's "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," revealing that she experienced suicidal thoughts after her upset loss to Holly Holm.
"I was sitting in the corner like, 'What am I anymore if I’m not this?'" she told Ellen of contemplating her identity following the November fight.
"I was literally sitting there and thinking about killing myself," she added. "And that exact second I’m like, 'I'm nothing. What do I do anymore? No one gives a s*** about me anymore without this.'"
Ronda said she overcame her depression after realizing she had much more to live for beyond championship titles.
"To be honest, I looked up and I saw my man Travis was standing up there," she said, referring to her boyfriend and fellow UFC fighter Travis Browne. "I looked up at him and I was like, 'I need to have his babies, I need to stay alive.' Really that was it."
The 29-year-old was knocked unconscious during the infamous bout, and issued a six-month medical suspension from fighting.
She recalled what happened after taking a nasty blow to the jaw in the first round that affected her ability to continue the fight at full steam.
"It's hard to really know what's going on. In that first hit I cut open my whole mouth and I knocked my teeth loose," she said. "I could see, but I couldn’t tell how far my hand was from my face. Or how far [Holly] was from me. … I was swinging blindly. I knew she was out there, but like I really don’t remember most of it."
Despite her impaired state, Ronda said she continued to give it her all.
"I was trying my best to kind of hide the fact that I wasn’t even there anymore," she added.
Ronda attributed her performance to possible overexertion, telling Ellen that the face-off was her third title fight in nine months.
"I don’t think anyone has ever attempted that before," she said.
"It’s always crazy going into every fight. Always so much chaos, always things going on. Things weren’t perfect -- they never are," she added.
The result may not have been what she or her fans wanted, but Ronda went on to explain how the loss helped her reassess her outlook.
"It was just destiny. It had to go down that way," she told Ellen.
"I do believe all the best things come from the worst things. Every worst thing that happened in my life resulted in the absolute best things," she said. "And I tried to think, 'What is the reason [for] all this?' and I’m thinking, like, what my actual purpose is."
Ronda continued, revealing that her fans could benefit from her story.
"Maybe just winning all the time isn’t what’s best for everybody," she said.
"Everyone has their moment of picking themselves off the floor," she continued. "I'd gone through several of mine, but no one had actually seen me go through it. … Maybe I just had to be that example of picking myself up the floor for everyone. Maybe that’s what I’m meant for."
While she's accepted the outcome, Ronda said she'll always think of herself as a champion.
"I really do believe I’m still undefeated, because being defeated is a choice," she said. Everybody has losses in their life, but I choose to always be undefeated."
Her first career loss may have given her important perspective, but Ronda said she still has her eye on the prize.
"Of course I want to fight Holly," she told Ellen of her comeback plans. "I want to beat her and make everything right again."
-- Erin Biglow