Returning Ronda Rousey seeks redemption at UFC 207
Heading into UFC 193 in November 2015, Ronda Rousey was the organisation’s only ever women’s bantamweight champion and had looked an unstoppable force with 12 consecutive career MMA victories.
The stage looked set for yet another dominant showing from the Californian against former women’s boxer Holly Holm, but her octagon outing in the main event at Melbourne, Australia didn’t go accordingly to plan.
Instead of a familiar victory and subsequent title defence, the now 29-year-old suffered her maiden defeat to Holm, taking a brutal head-kick to the temple and a vicious ground-and-pound before the referee intervened to halt proceedings.
With that loss, Rousey’s aura of invincibility swiftly evaporated, but the standard she had set for the division was evident as Holm endured defeat in her maiden defence against Miesha Tate, who then also tasted heartbreak to current champion Amanda Nunes.
The latter Brazilian clinched the strap with a submission success over Tate at a monumental UFC 200 card, locking in a tight rear-naked choke in the opening round in Las Vegas.
For Rousey, the journey has come full circle, as she will next have to tackle Nunes on her long-awaited return to the octagon and finally attempt to gain redemption, while proving she still has what it takes to succeed at the top level.
Despite UFC 207 set to be her first fight for over a year, the former superior women’s bantamweight title holder will enter proceedings as the narrow favourite to overcome Nunes, according to William Hill.
Much has been made of Rousey’s ability to bounce back from that damaging defeat to Holm, with the American grappler clearly having not taken it well.
Having been the star attraction in the organisation for so long, until a certain Conor McGregor came along with his devastating knockouts and trash talking, Rousey previously admitted she is thankful the Irishman helped take some of the spotlight away, but unlike him, isn’t fighting for the money.
“Conor gave me the chance to rest, he took the weight off my shoulders, and I am grateful,” she stated. “I will never put my body at risk for money and views ever again. What makes me happy is winning and being the best in the world and that’s it.”
The returning Judo black belt is hellbent on retrieving the belt that she once held for three straight years as an unbeaten champion, but will have to overcome arguably her toughest test to date in the form of ‘the Lioness’ Nunes.
Brazil’s hard-hitting champion, a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Judo, will pose a stern contest for Rousey in what is sure to be a superb match-up of styles during UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
Having previously outlined intentions of hanging up her gloves after the stunning Holm defeat, Rousey will soon put that setback behind her and attempt to regain control of the women’s bantamweight division, while also reinstating her dominance with victory over next foe Nunes.