Ronda Rousey or Amanda Nunes: Who’s Really the Best Female UFC Fighter?

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey made her name in the UFC as the first female fighter to fight in the octagon. And while some might say she is the best fighter in the sport, Amanda Nunes proves that opinion is a mere fallacy.

UFC Meets Ronda Rousey

In 2006, UFC President Dana White told a media source ‘never’ when asked when he would add a women’s division to the UFC. Four years, Rowdy Rhonda Rowdy made history as the first female UFC fighter to step foot in the octagon.

Known as Rowdy Ronda, the 134-pound Judo mixed-martial artist was a force to be reckoned with in the early 2010s. Her pretty blonde hair and beautiful smile hid the power punches and gut-wrenching kicks she could bestow upon an opponent. Rhett Alain from Wired! Magazine estimates Rousey hits with the power of two textbooks to the face every three seconds.

Rousey won her first 12 fights in the octagon, seven by first-round armbar submission, all ending in under 60-seconds. Many fighters feared stepping inside the octagon with Rousey.

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Rousey Meets Holm

All good things come to an end, as we all know and Ronda Rousey learned via back-to-back knockouts that would ultimately end her career in the UFC.

It was evident that Rousey had met her match when she stepped into the octagon at UFC 193.  Over 57,000 people gathered at the arena, eagerly waiting to see Rousey fight Holly Holm.

At the beginning of round one, Rousey stalked Holm, eager to fight. She landed few punches and those she did land had little effect on Holm.  Holm threw a flurry of hard punches that left Rousey obviously stunned.

At 0:59 of round two, a left kick to the neck of a bloodied Rousey would send her tumbling to the mat. Holm quickly pounced on the already knocked-out Rousey. The ref called the match. Holm was named the new Bantamweight champion and the fight was labeled the Upset of the Year 2015.

Rousey was medically discharged from the UFC  for 180 days after the fight. This is the longest medical suspension given to a fighter.

She assured fans that she would return to the UFC better than before.

And then she met Amanda Nunes.

Amanda Nunes Was Born to Fight

Amanda Nunes entered the UFC in 2013. She won her first three fights, lost her fourth, and earned a shot at a bantamweight title after a second three-win streak. She won that title after defeating Mesha Tate at UFC 200 in July 2016 by rear-naked choke.

Her December 9, 2016 fight against Ronda Rousey was her first title-defense match. Per the usual, Nunes dominated the fight, striking Rousey 27 times before knocking her out at 0:48 of round one.

Rousey fans were just as stunned by the flurry of blows that sent the fighter backward as her legs crumbled beneath her. The referee saved Rousey just before she dropped.

The Rousey KO may very well be one of the best of Nunes’ history.

After two more fights with similarly impressive knockouts, Nunes moved up to the Featherweight division.  She knocked Christy Cyborg out in 51 seconds of round one to earn the Featherweight title, making her the first UFC fighter in history to defend two titles in two weight classes. She’s also the seventh fighter to have earned two titles at once.

Nunes has a perfect 11-0 record since that 2014 loss against Cat Zingano. Five of those 11 wins have come by way of KO or TKO. The quality of Amanda Nunes’ fights sets her apart from Rhonda Rousey and sets her on a pedestal above the UFC women’s namesake.

Amanda Nunes was born to fight. She enters the octagon with something to prove and does not back down. She has fierceness and confidence behind arms of steel and matching legs, with a fighter’s heart. She’s not afraid of anyone or anything.

Once Nunes gets those arms in punch motion, Amanda “The Lioness” goes for the jugular and doesn’t stop until her opponent loses the battle.

 Nunes dreams of being the best and will not stop until she proves that she is at the top of her game, not that she has not done that a handful of times already.

The calm confidence Nunes displays as she steps inside the octagon and throughout the fight, paired with the glare of her eyes is somewhat intimidating even through a TV screen.  One can only imagine what goes through her opponent’s mind inside the octagon. It’s chill confidence that tells the opponent they might have very well met their match.

She knows her worth and fights for the love of fighting, for the dream, and the excitement. She has the skill and power to back it all up.

And when she steps in the octagon she does one hell of a job of entertaining us, fans or haters.

Rousey Changed the UFC Forever

Ronda Rousey changed the UFC game forever. She proved that women can fight, women can take a punch, and that women deserve a place in the UFC.  She will go down in history as one of the greatest female contenders of all time.

Amanda Nunes continues her victory in the UFC. And while her time in the UFC can come to a dwindling halt any time just like Rousey’s career, she always has one thing Rousey does not: an ability to make a fighter retire from the sport.

The December 9, 2016 fight between Amanda Nunes was the last of Rousey’s career. She officially retired from the UFC in 2017 and began a career with the WWE.

That’s heart.


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