Kayla Harrison: Ronda Rousey should have handled comeback differently

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Olympic judo champion Kayla Harrison believes Ronda Rousey‘s comeback fight should have been an easier match rather than a title bout and that Rousey needs to take “a hard look” at the people around her.

“I think that she has a lot of people maybe around her who don’t necessarily have Ronda’s best interests at heart,” Harrison said in a TMZ interview published Wednesday. “I think she needs to take a good, hard look at that and maybe go back to the day-ones, maybe go back to her family, maybe go back to her original coaches who helped her be successful, and just look at that and say, ‘OK, these people I know really do care about me and what’s best for me as Ronda, not as a fighter, not as a money-making machine, not as an actress, not as a celebrity. But as Ronda.’”

Harrison said Rousey needs to do “soul-searching.”

Rousey, a 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, said in a statement following her 48-second loss to Amanda Nunes that she needed “to take some time to reflect and think about the future.”

Rousey’s timid effort against Nunes was certainly not what Harrison, her former judo training partner, predicted.

“I really expected her to come back with a vengeance and to come back bigger and better than ever,” said Harrison, who may make her MMA debut this year. “But I’m not with her now, so I don’t know what her training has been like. I don’t know where her head’s at. When I talked to her a couple of weeks ago, she seemed good about it, but I think really one thing I would have done differently is I wouldn’t have had her fight for the title right away, you know? She probably should have had a match before that match, just to get back into the swing of things.”

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