She has returned. She hath returned!
I’m sure many of you fans know, UFC President Dana White announced that former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will make her mixed martial arts return and challenge current titleholder Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
Rousey’s return was bound to happen at some point, though I feel like it took longer than fans expected. She’s been busy making movies and appearing on television shows. Personally I felt it would have been fine if she never came back to mixed martial arts. Not because I’m not a fan of her’s – I love Ronda. However, she’s already made her mark in mixed martial arts and doesn’t have anything left to prove. But Rousey is also an adult and can lead her own life. If fighting she wants to do, cool.
Not everyone has reacted favorable to Rousey’s return. Critics argue that because Rousey is coming off a loss and has not fought in almost a year, she should have to fight her way back to title contention.
Spokane native Julianna Pena said in an interview that she might leave the UFC because Rousey was granted a title shot. Pena, who became the first woman to win the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” tournament, is on a four-fight winning streak and believed she should be next in line for the title.
It’s not unreasonable for Pena to be upset about Ronda getting the crack at Nunes’ title, but she and her managers should have seen this coming. Since the day Rousey lost the title to former champion Holly Holm, UFC president Dana White has been saying she’d get her title rematch when she returned to action, regardless who is the champion.
I’ll be honest, If I were Nunes’ manager, training partner or friend, I would be much happier with her getting to fight Rousey than Pena because that could be a huge feather in her cap .
Giving Rousey a title shot also makes sense from a business standpoint. White has said she is the UFC’s biggest draw. How many more people will now buy this pay per view event or purchase tickets to go see it because Rousey is on the card.
Putting business and drawing power aside, Before she was away, Rousey was a dominant champion and we’ve seen titleholders – especially in the UFC – granted a rematch or a title shot in another weight division after a loss: Randy Couture, Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo to name a few.
As for the fight, it’s going to be interesting. A lot has changed in a year and we don’t know what shape – physically or mentally – or what dangerous skills she has added to her arsenal. Nunes is a different opponent for the Rowdy one. She has power, dangerous hands and a solid grappling background. She might be the most well-rounded foe Rousey has faced.