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Kayla Harrison: Ronda Rousey needs to ‘take a good hard look’ at the people around her

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Olympic gold medalist and former training partner Kayla Harrison says Ronda Rousey is surrounded by the wrong people.

With Ronda Rousey’s current two-fight losing streak, pundits and fans have been pointing fingers at who should be taking the chunk of the blame. Many, including Amanda Nunes, have concluded that the root of it all is within the people that surround Rousey.

It is a sentiment that one of her former training partners, Kayla Harrison, actually agrees with. In a short conversation she had with TMZ Sports, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist says Rousey needs to re-assess and determine which of those people are beneficial and detrimental to her growth as a fighter.

“I think that she has a lot of people maybe around her who don’t necessarily have Ronda’s best interest at heart,” Harrison said. “And I think she needs to take a 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 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.”

A few weeks before UFC 207, Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell opined that Rousey should have taken a “warm-up fight” before facing Nunes for the title. Harrison echoed The Iceman’s statements, stating that the decision to take a year-long layoff alone was not a good sign to begin with.

“One thing I would’ve done differently is I wouldn’t have had her fight for the title right away. She probably should have had a match before that match, just to get back to the swing of things,” Harrison said.

“The thing about judo is when we used to fight, it’s like I might lose the Paris Grand Slam, but a month later, I’m gonna be fighting at the Hungary Grand Prix. I’m always in it, I’m always training, I’m always looking for that next fight. I don’t have a year to think about that loss, or to think about how bad that felt, or to psychologically psyche myself out for getting back into cage, or in my case, getting back onto the mat.”

“At the end of the day, I’m her friend, so my heart goes out for her. I don’t want to sit here and talk about what she could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done. Really, I just hope she’s OK, and I hope she knows that the people who truly know her are rooting for her no matter what she does.”