Say what you want, but come Friday, December 30, Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey are fighting at UFC 207
When Jose Aldo rushed at Conor McGregor in his fight — and got caught and dropped in a matter of seconds — no one questioned his skill when he lost. Ronda did get annihilated in her fight with Holly Holm (likely because she was excessively eager from the jump), but at least she made it to the second round, lol.
(Not disrespect to you, Aldo.)
I don’t think anyone can deny that Rousey is one of the pioneers who helped get women into the UFC. (I’m forever a fan of Gina Carano and what she did for women in this sport as a whole.)
There’s only one person who went undefeated in her division and has held the belt longer than anyone else.
And her name is Ronda Rousey.
Rousey beat the number 12; number 11; number nine; number eight; number seven; and number two (once in Strikeforce) contenders. Since her absence (Ronda said she was going to take a break before UFC 193 even happened ), no champion has been able to hold onto her championship.
But this time, I think Amanda can and just might do it.
— UFC (@ufc) October 12, 2016
I for one am excited for Amanda Nunes as she’s been calling for this fight with Ronda to happen for some time. She already fought and defeated Valentina Shevchenko (#2) and ran through Miesha Tate (#3). Holly Holm (#4) had back-to-back losses with both contenders which, to me, makes door number five, Ronda Rousey, an option. Seeing as Holly was the number seven contender when she and Ronda fought for the belt, it’s not always about chronological order.
(For the record, I like Julianna Pena. And though she’s undefeated in the UFC, she technically still ranks one spot below Ronda. You can, however, argue her consistency and persistence deserve a title shot — which I hope she gets soon.)
Ronda Rousey brings in the PPV numbers and Nunes does pretty well for herself, too. In fact, Amanda’s last fight against Miesha Tate for the title is tied with Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor’s fight as the fourth highest grossing UFC PPV of all time. She was the underdog of course, but people definitely recognize her power — assuming they haven’t followed her prior to UFC 200.
UFC 207 is on a Fri. Couldn’t have been anyone but Rousey. She’s sold 2 PPV events overseas, both for 1 mill or more. Customers follow her.
— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) October 12, 2016
As awesome as a Rousey vs. Cyborg superfight sounds, Cris Cyborg should just chill right now about not being next in line. She’s not even in the bantamweight division. Yes, fighters do fight outside of their weight classes (looking at you, Conor and Nate), but that does not mean — nor does it guarantee — that things will always happen that way.
There are a few badass chicks on the rise in the bantamweight division who have been kicking ass and taking names since Rousey’s hiatus. I think it would make sense for Ronda to re-establish herself in her division after such a break before moving up in weight.
Plus, didn’t Cyborg decline a contract with the UFC in the early years, because she said she couldn’t make the weight to fight in Ronda’s division?
Is it that wrong to think about women in the bantamweight division who have been waiting for Rousey’s return first? And if I was Cyborg, I would want Ronda when she’s fresh — not after a year off, knee surgery, and questionable ring rust.
Then again, now that Cyborg fights at 140 in the UFC, it will be interesting to see if Ronda will come up five — or if Cyborg can or would even be willing to go down five pounds.
And, Ronda, you did say you would fight at 140. So … maybe one day?
(To be fair, Cyborg did challenge Rousey during their Strikeforce days before Ronda started cutting to 135.)
Listen, I’d duck Cyborg, too — haha.
All I know is that I’m happy to see a fierce 135’er (Nunes) fighting another fierce 135’er (Rousey) making her return. If the bantamweight champ and a former bantamweight champ want to scrap, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.
I will be watching with popcorn come December 30.
Amanda Nunes is not an easy fight (at ALL) and will definitely give Ronda a run for her money. I truly hope the Lioness gets a nice payday from this epic fight.
… And I’ll keep my fingers crossed to see Rousey vs. Cyborg one day.
Image via UFC/Twitter