UFC 207 sees the highly anticipated return of MMA’s biggest female star Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey to the octagon. Once hailed the queen of the UFC her demise from the undisputed number one spot was sudden and shocking and she has needed over a year to deal with the situation. Now she is back and takes on current champion Amanda Nunes for the Bantamweight championship on 30th December in Las Vegas.
What makes a true champion is how they bounce back from defeat. Many of the greatest hall of fame fighters suffered losses on their records but never let those moments define them or there careers. Rousey has already indicated her time left in the sport is rapidly diminshing but she will want to fill the final chapter of her career with success.
There isn’t a women out there who matches up to her on the ground or for pure physical strength and grappling technique but as Holly Holm proved; anyone can be beaten. Holm with her background in boxing and kickboxing set the blueprint with her emphatic round two knockout win.
Holm started off in kickboxing and moved on to become a multiple weight world champion in women’s professional boxing. With her extensive boxing background she had the correct skillset to match up to Rousey avoiding being taken down and landing clean, accurate and clinical strikes. It was always going to take an exceptional striker to be able to beat Rousey.
Ronda was a 2008 Olympic Games bronze medal winner and is the daughter to an ex- world champion at Judo. Her throwing techniques are second to none and have helped her rag doll opponents around the octagon.
Brazilian opponent and defending bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, made the MMA world stand up and take note of her after she beat Miesha Tate. As a brown belt in Judo she doesn’t quite match Ronda in that department but her honours in Jiu Jitsu competition are extensive and include a Pan American gold medal.
This experience will be needed to help avoid the infamous armbar submission. Rousey has finished nine of her twelve defeated opponents via way of armbar submission.
Nunes has the advantage on the feet here. Although her victory over Miesha Tate was sealed with a rear naked choke, this was set up through the pure damage she was inflicting on Tate in the stand up action. She backed Tate up with her superior power punching and managed to foil a takedown attempt.
Nunes will want to keep this fight on the feet where she has the advantage. She is a dynamic power puncher who bangs a mean overhand right. On the flip side Rousey needs to take this to the ground.
One of only two losses for Nunes cames against number six ranked Cat Zingano back in 2014. Cat Zingano was a college wrestler and managed to use her strength to nullify, dominate and wear down Nunes by establishing control on top from the second round onwards.
She then finished her in the third by raining down a hail of vicious elbows from the top. If Rousey takes this route , which she is more than capable of doing, rather than standing and trading on the feet, it could be her key to victory.