The much-anticipated return of Ronda was locked down this week, as she will get a title shot with Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
Will another loss mentally defeat her?
Will she suffer from ring rust?
Does she deserve the immediate shot?
These and so many questions have come across my mind since the announcement from Dana himself dropped a few days ago.
What comes to my mind first and foremost however, is how a fighter who has had 13 months away returns and is offered a McGregor-like title shot.
In my opinion, this time away will not only impact her performance, but during that time many more bantamweight fighters have risen from the woodworks to prove themselves.
The latter is why I can’t fully support an immediate title fight for ‘Rowdy’ Rousey, even if her winning means she fights Cyborg. Nevertheless, let’s tackle the questions I mentioned above.
We all know how badly her loss effected her last time, do you think she can really handle that again? She was supposed to be this larger than life persona, who doesn’t take shit from any ‘do nothing bitches’ and a role model for girls who were told they shouldn’t do what boys do.
Well in my opinion that was all shattered that night she lost to Holly Holm, when what myself and many others simply saw as a cocky fighter getting what was inevitably going to happen at some point.
Off the top of my head, fighters like: Holm, Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano are all Bantamweights that I see as better role models than Ronda, for different reasons. Mostly, because they are not bullies and have had a more than a modicum of adversity to overcome. All have been finished and didn’t immediately run to Hollywood to make themselves feel better.
If Ronda has a history of this sort of clinical depression I would immediate retract my statements, otherwise, I think she is just soft.
The above is the most recent/relevant example of ‘ring rust’ that comes to mind, Jon Jones vs OSP. Yes he still won, but also it was intentionally a tune-up fight no one thought our lovable estrogen-blocked-fighter would lose. The point is he obviously looked a lot worse than usual due to time off, and I’m predicting the same if not worse for Ronda.
As I mentioned earlier, the 13 months between fights have allowed other fighters to step into the spotlight in that division, a far stretch from what the Ronda-ruled weight class used to look like.
Juliana Pena, Valentina Shevchenko and of course Champion Amanda Nunes come to mind as a testament to how much better 135 lbs. has become. I think Holly would beat Ronda again, and I think Miesha Tate would be a much closer fight than the last time they fought.
Again, all fighters who have had broken noses and bloody faces or simply hard-fought losses that didn’t drive them to give up. They didn’t leave for a year, because they can’t, they likely don’t have the money but also that’s not what a real fighter does.
I think Ronda’s time away will be shown, and unless she “Judo-fucks” Amanda immediately, I think Rousey is going to get an unpleasant surprise from level of talent she has ignored in 2016.
Title Shot/Money Fights
We are in the era of money fights now, FOR SURE. McGregor vs Diaz/Diaz/Alvarez is evidence enough. We heard Mousasi at the UFC 204 post-fight presser how Anderson Silva was asked to “get off his couch” to fight Daniel Cormier instead of him, pointing out how he couldn’t do five rounds.
Now we have Ronda coming back after 13 months to contend for the title because money. Don’t get me wrong, Rousey is still a contender based on talent alone, but wouldn’t Tate/Holm 2 make more sense? I think so, I think it would generate a lot of revenue as a co-main event also.
Let Shevchenko fight Nunes or Tate first to see if she is for real, then winner of Tate/Holm can fight for the title while the loser of the Shevchenko vs Nunes/Tate fight the loser of that Ronda vs. Holly.
Jesus, please let me be a matchmaker. Then again, money talks.