Much like when Ronda Rousey lost to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in 2015, there was a fair bit of schadenfreude on display following her UFC 207 defeat at the hands of Amanda Nunes. People ranging from anonymous preliminary card fighters to internet trolls to A-list celebrities were wringing their hands over Rousey taking another knockout, but a handful of fighters did come to her defense.
First and foremost among them? Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. The pound-for-pound great took to various social media platforms to voice his support of Rousey and actively encouraged her to dust off and get back on the horse:
I believe Rousey will be a champion for the rest of her life, even if she never wins another fight— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 31, 2016
I think it's important for Ronda to show her fans how great she truly is by displaying her courage and giving it another try.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 31, 2016
The two former champs have long had a mutual respect for one another. In 2013, before Conor McGregor was even in the title picture, Jones and Rousey shared the spot of the UFC's top box office and pay-per-view attractions and were seen palling around at media events on occasion. When Jones' career began hitting the skids in 2015 following a hit-and-run incident, he discussed how Rousey was one of just a few to reach out and offer help in his "darkest hour."
While Jones and Rousey have a long-standing camaraderie, he's not the only one who expressed Rousey should keep her gloves on. Speaking with TMZ, reigning UFC champions Tyron Woodley and Demetrious Johnson discussed whether she should give it another go, with both leaning in favor of a return.
When asked if he felt Rousey was going to retire, Woodley was quick to say, "I don't think she has to. I think that's up to her...I don't think she needs to, she's still one of the baddest women on the planet earth, but that's up to her."
Johnson, by comparison, was more decisive. "She needs to come back. It's going to happen, you're going to lose...I think loss is a part of the sport. Obviously, she got knocked the f--k out and it ain't easy to take, but it's part of the sport."
Of course, Rousey's future is currently unclear, with her telling ESPN she planned to "take some time to reflect and think about the future." If she does choose to come back, though, she will find at least some support among her constituents.