Rousey on Track to Regain Title

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 It’s not easy being regarded as the most dominant female UFC performer and then suddenly losing your title. That’s exactly what happened to Ronda Rousey but next month she has the chance to repair her damaged reputation and regain the Women’s UFC Bantamweight title when she challenges Brazilian Amanda Nunes for the title many thought she’d never lose.

Rousey had won 12 UFC fights in a row and only Meisha Tate had taken her past the first round. Total dominance was the name of the game but then in November 2015 she suffered a dramatic second-round loss to Holly Holm. The sight of Rousey bloodied and beaten was one we thought would never be seen and she hasn’t set foot in an octagon since.

Of course, there isn’t strictly the need for Rousey to make her comeback when she tries to retain her title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on December 30. She could easily make more movies, be a commentator or follow up her desire to one day be a regular performer in WWE. Hell, hath no fury like a dominant champion scorned and you feel it’s vital for her to cast away that damaging loss to Holm and get her title back. She does go into this fight as the favorite and a visit to at the time of writing has her 4/7 to walk out of UFC 207 as a twice UFC World Bantamweight Champion.

Hot Potato

Holly Holm may have shocked the world with her victory over Rousey but she didn’t prove to be a dominant champion. Meisha Tate took her title at UFC 196 but soon lost it via submission to current champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. A year after that terrible defeat is the belt about to go full circle and return to Rousey?

Mental Factor

A key factor in this fight is the mental state of Ronda Rousey. There have been so many distractions in the past year. She admitted that coping with her loss to Holm was one of the hardest challenges in her life. It wasn’t as if the loss was a submission move, it was a savage defeat no one saw coming.

Rousey may talk a good fight outside the octagon in the build-up to this title match, but how will she react when she walks into the octagon after a year away from it? Will memories of that terrible loss come flooding back?

Defending champion Amanda Nunes has won her last four UFC contests but her record doesn’t indicate that she’s invincible, far from it. Two years ago, she lost to Cat Zingano at UFC 178, her fourth loss. When she lost her first fight, she could hardly imagine being in a position where she’d be defending the world title against Ronda Rousey in December 2017.

Confidence is a wonderful thing to have and Nunes seems to have plenty at present. Nunes doesn’t just believe she can retain her title on December 30 but win a rematch too. That aura of invincibility that Rousey has went right out the window when she lost to Holm. That’s led to Nunes claiming she’s “200 percent confident” of still being champion after her clash with the former champion. Would there be a rematch though? Two defeats in a row for Rousey might speed up her exit from UFC and into the squared circle of WWE.

Next month, UFC’s Golden Girl returns but will she be able to recapture her glory days or face a possibly career-ending defeat? It certainly promises to be a fascinating match-up on December 30.

Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC