Freelance: Ronda Rousey Won't be as Dominant, and That's Okay
Depending on who you talk to, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey getting an immediate title shot at UFC 207 in her return fight against Amanda “Lioness” Nunes is something up for debate. But, just because she’s getting that shot and was so dominant before, are fans right in just assuming she’s going to win?
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times wrote that when a colleague asked when she was returning, she wasn’t talking to anyone at that time. However, that exchange happened as Rousey was leaving her home gym, Glendale Fight Club, in August. So, she has at least been training since if not before then.
Around the time the bout with Nunes was announced, Nunes said, “I’m not running from anyone, I’m the champion and I can choose who I’m going to fight. 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.”
Is Ronda best for Nunes or vice versa?
Looking back at Rousey’s loss at UFC 193 in November of 2015, Holly Holm captured the women’s bantamweight title by using her kickboxing background while preventing effective judo from the then champion. Holm then immediately lost to Miesha Tate by a combination of wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu.
Nunes then took the throne by outboxing Tate.
So, it’s clear that each one of the names above have a kryptonite and strong suits. Will Rousey have as strong a second run as her first? It’s possible. Rousey has only two opponents to face that could be real tests: Holm in a rematch and Cris “Cyborg” Justino. She dismantled every other notable name other than Nunes (going 12-1 with 12 finishes.)
Bottom line: Will Rousey be the same in her return? No, but it’s not her fault. It’s actually a good thing.
She won’t be as dominant because of two reasons: Nunes, Holm, and Justino are the only challenges left with arguments perhaps being able to be made for Valentina “Bull” Shevchenko (13-2 with nine finishes, although she has yet to get a finish in the UFC) and the disgruntled Julianna “The Venezuelan” Vixen Peña (8-2 with six finishes, two in the UFC.)
If she faces anyone else, it would largely be in rematches that will leave fans complaining that Rousey’s record is being padded. If she faces the newer, maybe less quality names in the division, it’s the same problem. Rousey has also already given herself timeline to finish up fighting.
The standard training camp takes 8-12 weeks (2-3 months) with most fighters competing maybe twice a year and champions three to four times. Rousey, 29-years-old at the date of writing this has said, ““I don’t want to be fighting in my 30’s,” Rousey said on Joe Rogan’s podcast last year. “By 30’s, I mean 31, 32. If you’re actually 30 years old, that’s not 30’s, that’s 30. Once you add into 31, that’s 30’s, plural.”
She won’t be as dominant because she simply has so little left to prove.