It wasn't long ago that Ronda Rousey sat on top of the world as the undefeated women's bantamweight champion and arguably one of the biggest and most recognizable superstars on the planet.
Rousey was not only mauling her foes inside the Octagon but she was developing quite a reputation as an actress after landing roles in "The Expendables 3," "Entourage" and "Furious 7."
Ahead of her fight with Holly Holm in November 2015, Rousey inked a deal to become the face of a new "Road House" reboot as well as plans for a biopic based on her life and book titled "My Fight/Your Fight" in which she was also expected to star.
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Rousey's career was forever changed when she was knocked out by Holm at UFC 193 and then lost her follow up fight to Amanda Nunes this past December at UFC 207. Since then, Rousey has largely stayed out of the public spotlight and while she did host "Saturday Night Live" after her first loss as well as book roles on "Drunk History" and an upcoming appearance on "Blindspot," the other movie roles have stalled in recent months.
UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten, who has transitioned into an acting career after he retired from fighting, can't help but believe that Rousey's recent troubles could easily be linked back to the former champion simply being pulled in too many directions.
"I truly believe that," Rutten told FOX Sports when asked if her career outside the cage played a factor in Rousey's recent woes. "On the other side, her name is getting bigger and bigger and bigger and then the girls who are going to fight her, they know if they dethrone the champ, they're going to be that known. It's a judgment slip I think. That's what happened there.
"Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to pull it back together now."
Add to that, Rutten feels that Rousey's viability as an actress was largely based on her success inside the Octagon and that only added even more pressure on her to win each and every time she fought.
"The problem also with Ronda was she had so many movie offers and the last fight that she had, everything was riding on that," Rutten explained. "She knew that if she would lose, she would not only lose but she would lose all the movies, opportunities, everything would go away cause that's how the world works. It's unfortunate but that's how the world works.
"Once you start losing, suddenly you're not that interesting anymore. It's bad that it happens, but it happens."
As a fighter who has now become an actor, Rutten says the best advice he could offer his fellow mixed martial artists would be to focus on fighting while still competing full time and then worry about Hollywood afterwards.
Rutten knows that acting takes a lot of time and dedication, which can only serve as a major distraction when preparing for a fight, especially when competing at the UFC level in the sport.
"It's the dumbest thing, especially as a fighter because they need to be mentally and physically prepared. They need to focus 100-percent solely on fighting," Rutten advised. "That's what I would do. It's a thing where once they get an offer it's like 'wait a minute, I can do this and this can be a backup plan' and then they totally forget about the consequences of acting. Then you see guys or girls who do it, they start losing their next fight. Because they aren't focusing on the fight.
"It's a hard job already. You've got to stay away from the injuries and everything else to keep the mind and body in tune while you're doing another job on the side, it's just not a great idea."
When it comes to Rousey's future, Rutten says that if she wants to compete again then she's going to have to sacrifice her career in Hollywood to truly focus on training and preparation again.
According to Rutten, there are still opportunities to get better as an actor while fighting but trying to do both at the same time will only be detrimental in the long run.
"I think she has to focus. I would forget about acting and I don't think the offers will keep pouring in, but when you're a fighter and you're still competing, take acting classes. Just to relax and take classes but then you're fully focused on your fight career," Rutten said. "Then when you stop with your fighting, you can actually become an actor.
"When I moved to America, within three months I was taking classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because it's a profession. The thing is when you get an offer and suddenly you're in a big movie and you didn't practice your acting, it's a big thing."