Ronda Rousey Returns! Rousey Confirms UFC 207 Bout VS Amanda Nunes For Title

Ronda Rousey confirmed she will return to the octagon for UFC 207 on December 30 to take on current UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Rousey posted the news on her Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.

Rousey hasn’t fought for the UFC since the first loss of her career to Holly Holm on November 15, 2015. Ronda admits that the loss to Holm put Rousey in a mental tailspin for a while but she also had to recover from the damage the former boxing champion Holly inflicted. Rousey said the heavy hands of Holly Holm even knocked a couple of teeth loose to the point she wouldn’t be allowed to eat an apple for six months.

On top of the devastation of the loss, Ronda Rousey had other distractions keeping her from her UFC return. Ronda underwent knee surgery in June according to ESPN. At the time, Dana White had expressed hope that Rousey would make it back to the octagon before the end of the year but that he and the UFC weren’t pushing her to return too quickly. Prior to that, Ronda was busy filming a new version of Roadhouse and has other movie projects in the works.

The bantamweight belt has changed hands multiple times since Rousey lost it last year. Holly Holm lost it to Miesha Tate in her first title defense. Miesha Tate, an opponent whom Ronda has already beaten twice, lost it in her first title defense to the current champion Amanda Nunes. Since then, Amanda Nunes has made it very clear that the one and only opponent she wanted to battle against first was Ronda Rousey.

According to MMA Fighting, Nunes told Combate in a recent interview that even though the UFC bantamweight division is full of talent, she felt her biggest challenge would be taking on Rousey.

“If they ask me who I want to fight, I’m going to say I want to fight Ronda. I’m not running from anyone, I’m the champion and I can choose who I’m going to fight,” Nunes said. “I will choose what’s best for me and Ronda would be ‘the’ main fight, that’s why it has to be against her, it has to be with Ronda.”

Nunes apparently didn’t want to make the same mistakes Holly Holm and Miesha Tate did by rushing into a title defense. UFC President Dana White had criticized Holly Holm’s camp for pushing a fight with Tate. Though Holly Holm was winning the fight, in the last couple of minute of the final round, she made a technical error and found herself caught by Tate in an armbar. Tate, who was filled with overconfidence by defeating the only woman to beat Ronda Rousey, then went on to get destroyed by Amanda Nunes, suffering a significant beating before being submitted by rear naked choke. At this point, Ronda Rousey is the only one able to defend that title successfully but Amanda Nunes is obviously hoping to be the next.

Ronda Rousey is checked by medical personnel after being knocked out by Holly Holm UFC 193. Image via Quinn Rooney/Getty.
Ronda Rousey is checked by medical personnel after being knocked out by Holly Holm UFC 193. Image by Quinn Rooney/Getty images.

While many MMA fans were hoping for a match-up between Ronda Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Justino, Dana White told Fox Sports it wasn’t the right time just yet for the two to match up. He did, however, give fans hope that the match-up could realistically happen in the future but it sounds like Ronda will have to have her title back in order to be all in.

“I know that Cyborg wants that fight. Ronda wants that fight, too. Ronda’s plan right now is to come back and try to win her title back and if that happens, the Cyborg fight will definitely happen,” White said. Of course, all of the followers of UFC know that even if Dana says something will “definitely happen,” it’s not always the case.

Ronda Rousey hopes to take back the belt in the UFC bantamweight title fight versus Amanda Nunes. Image by Frazier Harrison.

Cyborg has been relentlessly taunting Ronda to make their fight a priority for months, and Rousey has reason to be hesitant to accept the offer. Firstly, it would most likely be a catchweight fight as Cyborg is in a heavier weight class and secondly, Justino has been so dominant in her UFC debut that the organization is struggling to find opponents for her. Still, Dana White is well aware of the draw of Ronda Rousey and more than anything, he and the UFC want to keep her happy.

While Amanda Nunes has had more losses than Ronda Rousey, the match-up should be a good test to see if Rousey is truly looking to come back or wrap up her career.

[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images.]