The women’s bantamweight strap will be on the line at UFC 207 as current title holder Amanda Nunes (13-4), takes on the most successful female in UFC history. Ronda Rousey’s back and she has one objective-winning. “I don’t care about anything except for winning this fight, and I’m not spending energy on anything else,” Rousey said on an episode of UFC Embedded.
Return of the Rowdy
Absent during most of the pre-fight pressers, something Conor McGregor was taken off UFC 200 for, Rousey’s conditioning, mindset and any sort of game plan has remained an elusive get this go round.
The 2015 version of Ronda Rousey won’t surface on December 30th in Las Vegas. The former champion is a different fighter than she was over a year ago. How could she not be? Rousey wasn’t just defeated in November 2015, she was badly beaten up by Holly Holm.
Since then, the women’s bantamweight championship has changed hands three times. Even as Holmes was beaten by Tate, and Tate by Amanda Nunes, no two matchups are exactly the same. Nunes is one of the best finishers in MMA today. Twelve of her thirteen victories have come via stoppage.
“Since my first fight in the UFC, I’ve been training for Ronda Rousey,” Nunes said. “She was the champion at the time, now everything’s change because I’m the champion and Ronda is coming back to challenge me, it’s crazy.”
What about Nunes?
Amanda Nunes has fast and powerful hands. She isn’t known for her footwork. Keeping the fight at range where she can strike using her intimidating power and long reach will make for a telling first round.
The main criticism of Nunes is her conditioning. In one of the few statements Rousey has made about the fight, ‘the Rowdy one’ has accused the champ of “gassing out early.”
The criticism is interesting when looking at the average fight time of the two. Nunes clocks in at 5:37 and Rousey at 2:46. The fists may not come as fast, but the champ can finish fights and fighters.
Rousey, by comparison, looked exasperated at the end of the first round in a disastrous outing against Holmes. To take the belt from Nunes Ronda will need to deploy her deep well of setups for arm bars to work against Nunes’ skills in the clinch.
Nunes has successfully defended 73 percent of her opponents’ takedown attempts. Since facing Cat Zingano, her opponents have gone 1-for-10.
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes vs “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (Women’s Bantamweight Championship)
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes
Record: 13-4-0 (9 KO/TKO, 3 submissions, 1 decision)
Weight: 135 lbs
Strengths: Amazing striker with tremendous power in both hands, powerful takedowns, likes to hunt and pressure her opponents, brutal ground and pound.
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
Record: 12-1-0 (3 TKO’s, 9 submissions)
Weight: 135 lbs
Strengths: Superb takedown artist, amazing takedowns, trips and judo throws, powerful striker, arm bar queen.
The Sportsnista: In this fight, the power and aggression Nunes has used to swarm her previous opponents may end up being her undoing. Ronda Rousey’s ability to capture that momentum into a judo throw, should seal a victory, and return the belt to the former champ. Rousey, Armbar Submission, Round two.
Ricky Beschizza: Looking forward to this fight, the fan boy in me can see a quick Ronda win by arm bar, but the fighter in me can see Nunes out-striking Ronda. If Ronda can weather the storm, I think she will get that submission. Hard one to choose but I’m gonna go with Ronda by submission.
Tyler Yasembousky: The return of the big bad wolf. She will huff and puff and blow your house down, Long as there isn’t media involved! Lol all jokes aside, I am excited for rowdy Rousey. I actually felt bad for her after her loss to Holly Holm. It felt like the entire world piled on and gave her crap. But then I sat back and I watched how she reacted. She crumpled. Now heading into UFC 207, her grand return and she refuses to do any media what so ever. That worries me. It makes me think that after all this time her mind still isn’t right. Granted her body looks great. But she is gonna need both mind and body to beat the champ, Amanda Nunes. Who’s that you ask? Oh, just the champion of the world.
You couldn’t tell by UFC marketing as they are ONLY showcasing 207 being all about Ronda’s return. I feel as UFC is making a huge mistake and not showing the world more about Nunes. The sport’s FIRST openly gay champion. She could be a huge role model to a lot of little girls. But instead, the UFC is focusing on the cash cow that is Ronda Rousey. My prediction is this. Ronda won’t rush into this fight like she did Holly. If she is smart..but the nerves are gonna play a big factor. Can she keep her head on straight with the world watching again. If not Amanda will TKO her in the second round. If Ronda can drag Amanda into the deep waters, the championship rounds, then ‘The queen’ can regain her crown.
Daniel Binnzy: I think this is a dangerous fight for Ronda to come back to as Nunes is pretty much going in as not only a probable underdog but also without the pressure of being the big dog making a bigger return. In terms of the outcome, I do not think we will go beyond the second round, and I can see Rousey asserting her game plan on Nunes. Don’t get me wrong, Nunes will be aggressive with her striking but Rousey is and should be too clever for her. Dare I say second round stoppage by, you guessed it, Arm Bar!
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