Ronda Rousey is back — almost. Rousey fans know that the mixed martial Arts specialist was the first female fighter to sign with UFC. Rousey was the first UFC women’s Bantamweight champion and had multiple championship defenses under her belt. All that came to an end in November of 2015. In her seventh title defense, Rousey was battered by Holly Holm, losing her championship, and she hasn’t fought since. Rousey is perhaps unique among UFC fighters as she tends to fight from a “square-on” position, something that reflects on her career in judo.
The defeat by Holm was a devastating blow for Rousey who has now been out of the UFC fight game for over 14-months. As the buildup to UFC 207 continues, both Rousey and Nunes made the weight for tonight’s fight at yesterday’s weigh-in. There was naked ambition on show from both Rousey and Nunes on the buildup to tonight’s fight, which is arguably the most important of Rousey’s career.
Rousey will enter the Octagon tonight as the challenger, and it will be a new experience for her. It is also the fight that Ronda dare not lose. Before her defeat to Holm, Ronda Rousey appeared invincible. That air of invincibility was shattered when Rousey couldn’t find an answer to Holm’s superior power. As a result of that defeat, what goes on in Rousey’s head at UFC 207 fight time will be every bit as important as Ronda’s preparation and training.
According to the Guardian, UFC 207 will either afford Rousey redemption or send her to the ranks of the irrelevant. Rousey has been able to set aside other commitments to prepare for her UFC 207 battle against Nunes. Rousey has even gone so far as to impose an almost total media blackout. No one seems sure what this might mean. Rousey’s weigh-in showed that the 29-year-old is in great shape physically, but some pundits argue that her low-profile may indicate that Ronda is battling her demons.
While some may question Rousey’s mental state, the New York Post argues that “Ronda Rousey’s training points to her era being revived.”
“If it’s the Rousey that’s prepared, determined and focused, then she’ll take the title from Amanda Nunes and regain the feeling of superiority she owned 13 months ago before losing to Holly Holm.
“But if Rousey has lost any confidence, if she’s more concerned about distancing herself from the public or if she’d rather be somewhere else other than the Octagon, then this will officially end the “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey era as we’ve known it.”
The New York Post even boldly predicts that Rousey will beat Nunes in the first round. The Guardian is less forgiving of Rousey’s preparation as they reflect on the fact that the UFC even allowed Rousey to consider the usual UFC press conferences “optional.” They argue that Rousey may have been psychologically damaged by her pummeling at the hands of Holly Holm.
What Time Is The Ronda Rousey Vs. Amanda Nunes Fight?
UFC 207 takes place this evening at the T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas. The card kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern or 4:30 p.m. Pacific time. The main card starts at 10 p.m. Eastern, so expect Rousey and Nunes to take the Octagon at around midnight Eastern time.
Both Rousey and Nunes weighed in at 135 pounds, but Nunes has a very slight height and reach advantage. The contest is scheduled for five rounds.
Rousey says that she is coming back to reclaim her title “for the people who believed in her.” Nunes says that everything she has done has been leading up to this moment, and she believes that she is ready and doesn’t really care about how Rousey has prepared. If Rousey vs. Nunes at UFC 207 lives up to the pre-fight hype, it should be an epic encounter.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]