LAS VEGAS — As she sat down at the winner’s table to discuss her win, Loma Lookboonmee acknowledged the stark difference in post-fight feeling compared to her previous bout.
“I feel really good,” Lookboonmee told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a UFC Fight Night 210 post-fight press conference. “It feels great to win, especially after such a long period of absence. I was absent for about a year.
Lookboonmee’s previous fight was 10 months ago in November 2021. Suffocated, Lookboonmee revealed she battled the hurdles of mental illness in order to get back in the cage.
“After that loss, I went home,” Lookboonmee said. “It was a very difficult time for me because I was suffering from depression. After this loss, I said to myself that this was it. I was done. The reason I am here today is because of my team and my family who believed in me and always believed in me and always believed that I would improve and come back out there today, that’s why I’m here right now.
The depression led to suicidal ideation and self-harm, Lookboonmee continued. She thanked those around her for helping her get back on track and sent a message to others who may be struggling.
“I’d like to tell people with depression and mental illness that I’m one of you too,” Lookboonmee said. “I know how it feels and I know how bad it is. I had suicidal thoughts. I hurt myself. I know how dark and deep it is. I’m lucky to have such an amazing team behind me and a family that loves me and has always seen the value in me. I am very grateful and blessed to have them. I want to tell people with mental illness to see the value in yourself because it’s there and never give up and understand that things might not get better right away, but eventually they will. to improve.
“…I think it’s great to be able to share that and to be here today. I just want everyone to know that if I can get better, you can get better too. It doesn’t matter if I’m a UFC fighter or not. We can all suffer from it. »
Regarding access to mental health care, the UFC offers athletes access to remote therapy appointments for mental performance through the UFC Performance Institute – however, the scope of care n is not clear.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Center for UFC Fight Night 210.