2888The dust has finally settled on UFC 207 and just as it was on her last outing, the main focus surrounding the event is Ronda Rousey’s defeat.

I’ve been meaning to write a blog on this subject for awhile now, not about Rousey’s loss specifically but about how inhospitable the fight game can be.

At some point in your career this is going to be a very harsh environment to be around, not only due to your body taking punishment and the rigorous training regimes you’ll have put yourself through, but the realisation that you can be revered and admired by people one minute and then quickly criticised, slandered and then forgotten by these very same people.

How you deal with this is what will ultimately make or break you.

Only the other day I shared a post about Ricky Hatton and how he had to deal with depression after his defeats against Mayweather and Pacquiao. In the link he discusses how he contemplated suicide which is something Rousey touched on after her first defeat.

Both of these athletes were constantly put in a positive light by the media and supporters. Such was the hype and reverence that any negative comments (If any) were barely noticeable.

So in my opinion they were not mentally equipped to deal with what follows after a loss, especially at the level they were at and with the power that social media has now.

Everybody has a voice and an opinion whether it be an educated one or not but It’s only fairly recently that people have the power to express that opinion to millions. If you are the topic at hand then you need to be ready to receive the backlash of negative feedback and criticism that inevitably comes as readily as the support.

My advice is to simply not read it or stew over it. At times I’ve been guilty of responding online to some of the trolls when in reality it would have been far better to just ignore them and not rise to the bait. Just listen to the opinions of those who you respect and hold dear as they are the ones who are truly looking out for your best interests.

It’s also important that you’re not surrounded by ‘yes’ men. If you want to improve and grow as an athlete then constructive criticism and some harsh truths are occasionally needed, unfortunately it seems this is something Rousey was lacking from her team and now she’s the one that will suffer the impact of a fall from such a high pedestal.

The venomous comments you see online can hurt at times but that’s only your ego so let it slide, you’ll have a much more peaceful life. Also some of the people you thought were friends will vanish and cling to the next person they consider a star. These people think it heightens their own reputation to be around people at the top of their game very much like those who only ever support the football team at the top of the division. They’re not friends and never were so brush it off and move on.

None of the above is important and a loss does not mean the end of a career but merely a chance to sit back and reflect on what went wrong and how to improve.

The fight game is definitely not all peaches and cream but as long you stay focused, ignore the negativity and enjoy what you’re doing then you’ll have a happy ending when it’s done and dusted.