UFC 207 Friday, December 30th, 2016.
August 1st, 2015 The location Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the opponent Bethe Correia (9-0) at the time. Ronda Rousey would defend her Bantamweight crown against Bethe in hostile territory. Ronda knocked out the undefeated Brazilian within 34 seconds of the very first round. She was on top of the world, there were acting roles most notably the Entourage Movie and the huge Fast and the Furious franchise, WWE appearances, Metro PCs mobile phone adverts you name it every brand wanted Ronda Rousey as the face of their organisation. The biggest female combat sports star to ever compete in Mixed Martial Arts the accolades and adoration from the media was there for all to see.
Just 3 months later everything changed. at UFC 193 in Melbourne Australia, the Queen of Female Mixed Martial Arts was dethroned in dramatic fashion. 59 seconds into round number 2 of her Bantamweight title defence against former multiple time professional Boxing Champion Holly Holm, she was dropped with a devastating head kick. In the build up to this fight, both Ronda and her Coach Edmund Tarverdyan spoke at length about the quality of Rousey’s Boxing, and Edmund, in particular, felt that she could stand and trade with Holly Holm. Ronda came out in the first round all guns blazing looking to back up her claims of being a top level striker. However, it was not to be early in the 1st round Ronda was rocked by a strong right counter from Holly which visibly stunned her on her feet. From then on it seemed that Ronda was fighting on instinct, she was rushing Holly not really trying to implement any sort of game plan, in the great words of former world champion Mike Tyson “everyone has a gameplan until they get hit”. Holly who would have been delighted to stand off and counter coming from a Boxing base was too much for Ronda on the night and became the new Women’s Bantamweight champion of the UFC.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the formerly undefeated champion, with Rousey, even going as far as to go on the Ellen DeGeneres show, and reveal how after the fight she suffered from Suicidal Ideation, it was an eye-opening interview into the agonising and crushing mindset of being an elite level athlete.
In Ronda’s absence, the passing of the guard has happened 2 times already within the space of a few months. Holly Holm was defeated by Ronda Rousey’s former arch nemesis Miesha Tate by rear naked choke at UFC 196 on the 5th of march 2016. She would hold onto the belt for just 4 months dropping the belt to current champion Amanda Nunez by rear naked choke in the 1st round of a very one-sided contest.
UFC 207 will be the first time since November 2015 that we will see Ronda Rousey step foot in an octagon again, she will fight Amanda Nunez for her former Bantamweight title at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas Nevada. It will be very interesting to see how she approaches this fight, since her loss to Holly Holm she has kept an extremely low profile in the public eye. Lessons have most definitely been learned since that memorable night in Melbourne and although she is not the best striker in the world, what she does in the Octagon, that which made her the most dominant women’s champion in UFC history, she is most definitely the best in the world at.