UFC 207 Preview

ufc-207There is one story in this card, despite the multiple storylines that everyone could be talking about, that is the return of Ronda Rousey.

Rousey was a ground-breaking fighter in the UFC as she was the reason why women are now in the UFC.

At one point Dana White refused to entertain the idea of allowing women to fight in the UFC but one meeting with Rousey changed his mind.

Essentially he saw the potential in Rousey’s ability to appeal to the masses, after all, she is an attractive woman who is well-read and speaks her mind.

To add to that package she was an Olympic bronze medalist in Judo and had never lost a fight in her short MMA career finishing every fight with an armbar.

She was exciting in all of her fights and was a desirable face outside of her fights making her the perfect package to help sell the UFC to the wider sports world.

When she came into the UFC she did everything that the promotion was hoping making the cover of Sports Illustrated and becoming a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model while also acting in multiple big budget movies.

She was everywhere and all the while she continued to win as the first and only women’s bantamweight champion.

While she rose through the ranks of not only the sports world but celebrity, in general, a new MMA fighter was making her mark as well.

Former professional boxer and kickboxer, Holly Holm was working her way through the division with a lot of people wondering how she would do against the champion.

That answer was given at the end of 2015 when Holm earned a knockout with a massive head kick that handed Rousey her first loss and started the instability in the bantamweight division.

Holm would eventually lose to Miesha Tate who then lost to Amanda Nunes who currently holds the belt.

All the while Rousey stayed out of the spotlight doing an interview with Ellen DeGeneres where she revealed that she contemplated suicide after the loss but then avoiding anything else.

Nobody heard much from her aside from brief updates from Dana White as she stayed away from everything fighting and celebrity.

The Ellen interview and her avoiding everything else had people wondering about whether or not Rousey was going to return and if she did would she be the same.

A massive part of her ability to fight came from her unrelenting confidence in herself but that disappeared when she was knocked out.

She seemed vulnerable all of a sudden and that was a major concern for fans and the UFC as their biggest star was a shell of herself.

The question of her return finally came a few months ago when the UFC announced that she would come back at UFC 207 to fight for the title against Amanda Nunes.

What hasn’t been answered yet is what her mentality is like after her first loss and if she still has what it takes to be a champion.mma-sidebar.fw

There was only more concern after their first face-off as Rousey was reportedly supposed to answer some questions at the face-off but retreated backstage and needed to be consoled.

If that is an indication of where her head is at before this fight things are not going to go well of the former champion.

With so much focus on other things like her movies, she will star in a reboot of Roadhouse, and other things she wants to do does she even want to fight anymore?

She already has stated that this will be the beginning of the end for her career and if she takes a loss that end could come sooner rather than later.

The fact is for her that there might be more pressure than ever before as everyone is waiting to say that she just doesn’t have it anymore.

That used to fuel her but if her mind isn’t right it might not work in her favour against a very dangerous champion.

Nunes proved that she has the stand-up skills to match some of the best after she easily got past Tate in the title fight.

Now she takes on a legend in the sport but one that has holes that were exposed by another high-level striker.

The smart strategy for Rousey would be to take this fight to the ground and work her ground game, essentially go back to basics and look for that armbar.

If she tries to stand with Nunes the results could be very similar to when she tried to stand and trade with Holm.

Meanwhile, Nunes knows that her chance is to keep this fight standing and expose Rousey as a more one-dimensional fighter than most people thought.

Rousey could come back with a vengeance and take back her title and proceed to get those dream matchups that everyone wants to see before she walks away from fighting altogether.

She also could take a loss making her a falling star that might not be around much longer and potentially ending an era in the UFC.

It might all come down to where she is mentally as it remains the biggest question as ground-breaking star returns to the octagon.

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