UFC legend Jon “Bones” Jones spoke up to defend former UFC women’s bantam weight champion Ronda Rousey in a recent interview with TMZ.
Jones had nothing but good things to say about Rousey, who has faced widespread criticism and ridicule after losing to reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes via a brutal knockout just 48 seconds into their match at UFC 207 on December 30. You can watch the video of Jon supporting Ronda at the bottom of this article.
Many, like USA Today sports writer Josh Peter, said that Rousey “must go,” that it was clearly time for her to retire because, if for no other reason, her confidence had been shaken “beyond repair.”
Jon Jones disagrees. While the former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion acknowledges that Ronda Rousey needs to do some work to advance her game, he thinks she definitely still has a lot of fight in her.
In fact, Jones believes that Rousey can still easily defeat 90 percent of the women in her weight class. Easily.
Jon Jones: The Sport Caught Up to Ronda Rousey… But She Should NOT Retire (VIDEO) https://t.co/HBW3rdF2o4
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 6, 2017
The only problem that Jones sees, is that Ronda Rousey needs to evolve with the sport. When she came into MMA, she was ahead of the curve. But martial arts is constantly evolving, and Rousey needs to evolve on pace with the sport.
Jones is not sure she has done that.
He also thinks that Holly Holm laid out a “blueprint” for defeating Rousey when she knocked her out with punches and a vicious head kick at UFC 193 in November of 2015.
Rousey’s striking game has been the target of question and criticism for some time. Even when she was still undefeated and dispatching her challengers within seconds in the Octagon, other fighters, coaches and commentators saw plenty of holes in her standup game.
“Her movement is very bad, how she walks into punches and she would get caught,” former junior lightweight and lightweight champion Amanda Serrano told The Guardian back in August of 2015 — before Rousey had suffered a defeat.
Serrano noted that even win Rousey would win with strikes, as she has done a few times, she still got beat up more than she should have.
“The girls that she’s fighting, they’ve got limited boxing skills,” Serrano continued. “They rely on grappling on the floor. She fought that girl that didn’t know how to fight and she ended up with a black eye.”
When Ronda Rousey entered the Octagon against Holm, she was facing an advanced striker. And it showed. Holm knocked Rousey out in the second round. She also knocked out her confidence.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Rousey took off for 13 months after her defeat at Holm’s hands. During that time, there were all sorts of questions and rumors about her mental game, whether or not she was still capable to compete at the top level and if she was ducking fights.
Her loss to Nunes, of course, did nothing to quell those doubts.
UFC President Dana White has said for months that despite still having a strong competitive streak, retiring is a perfectly reasonable option for Ronda Rousey.
“She’s very rich, she doesn’t need to fight anymore,” White was quoted as saying in a previous Inquisitr article published after the Nunes loss. “She’s super-competitive, maybe she wants to (fight again). We’ll see what happens.”
White made similar comments in the months leading up to the fight, noting Rousey’s lucrative income from her modeling and acting careers.
Jon Jones: MMA caught up to Ronda Rousey, but ‘she still beats 90 percent of the division’ https://t.co/GQOQ7xT0bR
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) January 7, 2017
Jon Jones thinks Rousey still has plenty of fight in her and would like to see her return to the cage. He did falter a little when TMZ asked if he believed Rousey could beat Nunes, but he probably just doubts she could beat her right now. Anyone can get beat in MMA, the many upsets throughout the sport’s history prove that, but Rousey would have to improve her standup game before she could get good odds for taking out Nunes.
Ronda Rousey is an amazing athlete though, and she has done incredible things for the sport for women athletes in general. If she returns and improves, anything is possible down the road.
Jon Jones, who is currently in the middle of a one-year suspension for testing positive for theUSADA-banned substances clomiphene and letrozole during an out-of-competition drug test, as ESPN has previously reported, is expected to return to the ring this summer.
[Featured Image by Aaron Sweet/Getty Images]