“I need to come back. I need to beat this chick,” Rousey told ESPN the Magazine in the first comments she’s made following her stunning second-round knockout loss in Australia on Nov. 14.
When she’ll fight Holm is unclear.
Holm’s manager, Lenny Fresquez, told The Times on Tuesday that he met with UFC officials Monday and received a proposal for a fight expected to be July 9 at UFC 200 at the new Las Vegas arena.
“I’m not sure Ronda will be ready for a July fight,” Fresquez said. “She took a severe beating, and I don’t think it’s in her best interest to take the next fight so fast. They told me she’s been ready and cleared, but … ”
Venice’s Rousey told ESPN she was “out on my feet from the very beginning,” after sustaining a cut lip on a first-round punch from Holm that also knocked some of her teeth loose. The injury still has her hesitant to try to eat anything like an apple.
“I wasn’t thinking clearly,” Rousey told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “I had that huge cut in my mouth, and I just spit [the blood] out at my feet. Then they brought the bucket over, and I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I spit it in the bucket?’ I never spit on the ground.
“It was like a dumbed-down, dreamy version of yourself making decisions. ... I was just trying to shake myself out of it. I kept saying to myself, ‘You’re OK, keep fighting. You’re OK, keep fighting.’
“I just feel so embarrassed. How I fought after that is such an embarrassing representation of myself. I wasn’t even … there.”
A rematch between the 28-year-old Rousey (12-1) and New Mexico’s Holm (10-0) likely would become the UFC’s richest pay-per-view event.
“I guess it’s all going to be determined by what happens in the rematch,” Rousey told ESPN. “Everything is going to be determined by that. Either I’ll win and keep going, or I won’t and I’ll be done with everything.”
Fresquez said he’d like Holm to defend her belt in the interim against top-ranked contender Miesha Tate.
“Holly’s used to staying active,” Fresquez said. “We’re from the old school, and we believe the No. 1 contender is there for a reason. … [Tate] deserves a shot, but it’s not for me to decide.”
Fresquez said at his Monday meeting that UFC officials told him there are no immediately open dates for Holm’s first title defense between now and July, although the manager said Holm could fight as soon as February.
Fresquez said he will present the UFC proposal to Holm and her team later Tuesday and they’ll come to a decision.
“Holly’s not so much about the money as [much as thinking] she wants to fight,” Fresquez said.
“We’d like to fight Miesha. We understand there are risks, but Holly’s a dominant champion, and she wants to fight the best. Right now, Miesha is the best.”
Rousey, meanwhile, told ESPN she slept the entire flight home from Australia while on painkillers, then drove to a Texas ranch the next day with her boyfriend, UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, for a vacation.
“I always say you have to be willing to get your heart broken,” Rousey said of her career, which had been so dominant before the upset. “That’s just what … happens when you try.”
Rousey said she intends to keep her trainer, Glendale’s Edmond Tarverdyan, despite his push to fight the former world-champion boxer Holm.
She said she knew what was being said about her following the defeat: “That I’m a … failure and I deserve everything that I got.”
But when asked whether she’ll return to the octagon, she responded, “What else am I going to do?”