Everyone knows by now that Ronda Rousey is climbing back into the octagon on December 30th. She will be trying to regain the Bantamweight title that she lost when Holly Holm destroyed her in November of 2015. The title is now on its third champion since Rousey dropped it and it seems to change hands as often as a WWE title does.
Rousey wants it back and she seems to think it’s going to be a cakewalk in getting it. However, that’s not the case at all and as you read on you’ll learn plenty of reasons why. Amanda Nunes is no slouch and she isn’t going to give the title over to Rousey without plenty of resistance. Rousey has plenty of support for sure but that doesn’t translate into a guaranteed victory next month.
As a matter of fact when you look at the reality of things, there are more reasons that Rousey will never return to the level of fame that she once had than there are reasons why she will. There are too many things working against her like her new training, her mental mindset and of course the beating that Holm put on her last year.
You may find plenty of things here that you disagree with but if you take a moment to reflect on it with an open mind, you might find yourself rooting for Nunes on December 30th.
15. Her Training
When Ronda Rousey was destroyed by Holly Holm, a major weakness was found in Rousey’s plan of attack. She isn’t a very good boxer. Obviously, in MMA you need a complete set of skills to be successful for any amount of time. Holm showed that even though it was her foot that knocked Rousey into next year. The kick was the finisher but a solid left hand early in the fight knocked Rousey loopy, leaving her exposed for that finishing foot to the face.
Rousey is now trying to overcome that weakness by bringing on Mikaela Mayer to teach her how to box. She represented the United States in the Olympics and she finished just shy of getting a bout for a medal. So she isn’t too bad but at the same time, she isn’t the greatest. After all, she didn’t even get a shot at a medal.
Rousey’s skill set has been complete for some time now and it’s doubtful that she can become good enough at boxing to add it in and have it be a factor by the end of December. Even if Mayer is successful at teaching Rousey everything she knows, she didn’t finish in the top three at the Olympics so it’s not like she can teach Rousey to be a champion. This new training isn’t going to make a bit of difference.
14. Her Hobbies
Many athletes have hobbies that they like to do during their off time. A lot of these hobbies actually help them at what they do best. They can help with things like reaction time, strength, quickness, and natural athleticism. Ronda Rousey’s favorite hobby doesn’t come into play for any of those factors.
She once told ESPN that she loves to play Pokemon. She played it back in the 90s during the initial craze and she told them she still plays. Some may consider it nerdy and some may think it’s stupid. A lot of people don’t think either way but one thing is certain, it certainly doesn’t do anything to help her do what she does best.
Anyone that has ever played the game or currently plays will be quick to point out that Rousey is an avid player. They do this when they are called out on it and they need a hero to justify that what they are doing is actually cool. Whether it’s cool or not really doesn’t have anything to do with anything important though. What does is the fact that the game does nothing to increase any type of athleticism. And because of that Rousey will be calling it quits very soon on her MMA career.
13. She Was The Best In A Weak Division
When Mike Tyson ruled the boxing world it was a perfect storm. The combination of him being the best in the world and there being really no competition for his titles, left him looking even more intimidating than he was. Don’t get me wrong, at one time he was without a doubt the baddest man walking the planet. But if he had some better competition he would have been even badder.
Ronda Rousey faced the same problem. She had no competition to offer her a decent challenge. Sure she was good, I will never say that she wasn’t. She was the best that the division had to offer. But that doesn’t mean that she was the best ever. What that means is she took good advantage of the time she was at the top. Her weak competition offered her no serious challenges and she looked a lot better than she is. Holly Holm proved that when she destroyed Rousey last November. It was the first real challenge that Rousey had come up against and she didn’t fare well at all.
12. New Fighters Won’t Buy Her Trash Talking
Let me say that Ronda Rousey is a very talented woman. You don’t hand out the type of beatings that she used to without talent. But her main intimidation tactic is talk. She uses her mouth to mask the shortcomings that she has in the cage. Some of the things she says before a fight leave you wondering if she just finished watching a Mike Tyson pre-fight press conference. She tries to scare opponents before they get into the cage with her. It’s a good idea and for many opponents, it worked. They were scared to death before even walking down to the cage.
However, a better opponent doesn’t let talk bother them. They let their actions be their intimidation factor. They let their talent do the talking. Now Rousey didn’t take all of her opponents out by talking. She actually had to do something inside the cage. But they had already lost the bout in their minds based on Rousey’s intimidating talk.
The new wave of fighters coming in won’t fall for that and they will let their talent do their talking. Rousey’s talent level will be exposed in a big way when that happens. It already started on November 15th of last year and it will continue on December 30th in Las Vegas.
11. Lack Of Mental Preparation
When Rousey comes into a fight she is used to the walk to the ring taking longer than the actual fight. She has twelve career wins and eleven of those have ended in the very first round. Even her only career loss came in just the second round. A fighter has to come into a fight with a mindset that they can go the distance and give their all for a very long time if need be. Rousey has had so many fights end in the first round that she may not even know that a title fight can extend further than two rounds.
You can call it Mike Tyson syndrome. Iron Mike had so many fights end in the first round that when Buster Douglas lasted into the third round Tyson didn’t know what to do. He did catch Douglas really good one time in the eighth round but Iron Mike got knocked out in the tenth round. Rousey has had so many short fights that she may not have the mental preparation that it takes to go more than a short distance. No matter how good you are, that will eventually catch up with you. Just ask Tyson if you question that.
10. Too Much Time Off
November 15, 2015 was when Ronda Rousey got crushed by Holly Holm. Holm only held the title for a few months but she got right back into the action. Rousey wasn’t allowed to compete for a while after such a brutal loss, and then when she was finally cleared, she still wasn’t ready to climb back into the cage. There was this going on and then there was that going on and everything seemed more important to her than getting another fight.
When she does battle with Amanda Nunes on December 30th it will be a year and a month and a couple of weeks since Rousey was last in the cage. That’s way too long. Extended time off from what you do allows rust to set in, no matter how much training you do. It’s the same in every sport. Hockey teams or football teams dread that one or two week break before having to play a playoff game. They can practice all they want but nothing can compare to actual competition. Sports teams don’t like having a week or two off before a big game or series so how do you think Rousey is going to be after more than a year off? She has let too much time pass to be able to recapture the level of fame that she once had.
9. Her Pre-Fight Bedroom Ritual
Athletes in general, have a lot of per game/pre-fight rituals. Some are very understandable, some are very odd, some are just very strange and unexplainable and some are just flat out stupid. But it’s part of the game and if it works, go for it. There are hockey players that must put their socks and pants on one leg at a time, left leg first, every single time. Or maybe their skates on left foot first. Some hockey players have been known to not change their underwear AT ALL during the playoffs if the team is on a winning streak. Baseball, football, basketball and fighters all have their share of superstitions before a big game or fight. Ronda Rousey is no exception to this rule but hers is a bit different. Or at least it’s a bit different in terms of her sharing it.
She once told Maxim magazine that her pre-fight ritual is having sex, saying “It’s just a medical fact: As a girl, if you have sex before a fight, it raises your testosterone. If it’s available to me, then I’m all for it, but otherwise I’m kind of out of luck.” By those terms, her performance in the Holm fight looked like she hadn’t gotten laid in a year. Seriously though if sex is an important part of preparing for a bout, there might be something wrong with your training routine.
8. She Can’t Handle Pressure
There are two types of athletes in the world. Those that can handle the pressure they are facing and those that can’t. There is no in between. Those that can usually head into an event with little to no fanfare meaning they don’t do anything to create more of a media circus than there already is normally. Those that can’t usually act or speak without thinking and create a bigger media storm than was needed. Ronda Rousey clearly can’t handle the pressure and she shows it with her insecure mouth.
Trash talking is one thing but when you do it in the manner that Rousey has done in the past it shows that she obviously can’t handle when she is in the spotlight. This is going to catch up to her as she tries to reclaim the fame that she once had.
While preparing for her bout with Sarah Kaufman, Rousey told the media that she was going to rip Kaufman’s arm off and then pick it up and throw it at her corner. She followed that up by saying she was going to pound Kaufman’s face to death. See what I mean? That’s not normal trash talking.
Once again referring back to Mike Tyson, he did both as he talked trash and he talked stupid. When he talked trash he won big. When he talked stupid the results were usually not very good. Rousey is going to find the same results.
7. Nunes Has The Momentum
The “Nature Boy” Ric Flair used to say “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” Since Ronda Rousey is a huge fan of pro wrestling the quote is appropriate to use. However, it can be changed up a bit. “To be the Champ, you gotta beat the Champ.” At one time Rousey was one of the best in the world there is no question about that at all. But she no longer is and chances that she will beat the Champ Amanda Nunes on December 30th are not good.
Since Rousey has lost the Bantamweight title it has changed hands three different times. Surely nobody saw that coming but Nunes is looking to put a stop to the constant title changing hands. She is very confident coming in and she even recently said that “I’m 100% gonna beat Ronda Rousey. I’m 200%.” Now she may not be much of a talker but that’s ok. She’s the Champ. She doesn’t need to talk. She will do her talking in the cage in about six weeks. The difference in attitude and confidence from someone who is achieving her dream every single night she holds that belt and Rousey who just got humiliated is definitely going to work in the favor of Nunes. We’ll cover more about Nunes’ skillset in a further entry below.
6. Can Rousey’s Body Bounce Back?
Losing a bout is one thing but taking a beating like Rousey did at the hands of Holm is another. Now, she’s 29 years old, not 39, so she isn’t past her prime, but she is old enough where the body might not respond like she wants it to from a beating like that.
You can be any age and hand out a beating. Holm is 35 years old and Nunes is 28 years old and both can hand out a beating just like Rousey can. But neither has been blasted like Rousey was. That’s really what makes the biggest difference in age. How does your body respond when put to the test. Rousey’s didn’t respond too well to that punch in the face she took and it responded even worse to the kick to the face that she received.
Every individual is different and each person is affected in different ways. Rousey clearly hasn’t been in a rush to return to the cage. It wasn’t that important to her because she had other things going on. People tend to lean toward what they love most and what’s more important to them when they have to make a decision. She made hers clear by waiting so long to get back into the cage. Maybe she knows that her body might not respond well to another beating like she already took.
5. The Role Of Aggressiveness
Amanda Nunes has won 13 fights with nine of those coming by way of knockout. She is very aggressive in the cage and Rousey has handled these types of fighters in the past quite easily. Good examples are Alexis Davis and Cat Zingano. Both came right after Rousey and both paid dearly for it. The time of the Davis fight was just sixteen seconds and Zingano lasted only fourteen seconds. As a top notch grappler, Rousey is pretty well equipped to handle the overly aggressive fighter.
But Nunes isn’t overly aggressive. She’s a smart aggressive and there is a huge difference. The overly aggressive fighter comes right at you with no real plan of attack other than causing pain. The smart aggressive fighter has a game plan with the attack and executes it well. This is what Rousey will be up against and her grappling style won’t be able to handle what is coming at her.
At UFC 207 Nunes however, won’t have to be the aggressor. Rousey is trying to reclaim her title and her fame. She will be the one that will be the overall aggressor in the fight because she has something to prove and something to gain. Nunes can sit back and let Rousey come at her and counter with her own aggressiveness. Sure she has something to lose but her desperation not to lose will be outweighed by Rousey’s desperation to win and it won’t work to the former champ’s favor.
4. Rousey Won’t Get Nunes To Quit
Of Ronda Rousey’s twelve victories nine have come by submission. That goes with her grappling style and her knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She is one of the best at it and she once received very high acclaim from Rener Gracie when he said “Ronda thrives in the chaos. She thrives in the confusion because of her extensive years in judo, and it’s amazing what she’s able to do. When other people would otherwise kinda clam up and just do what’s safe, Ronda’s always literally upside-down and twisting and elegantly looking for prime limbs to latch onto and take home and add to the collection.” Rousey later added, “I still think that I can beat any BJJ girl in the world, any weight division, gi or no gi, black belt all the way, in any rule set that they want.”
Confidence is good but living in reality, is a good quality to have as well. There is no way that Nunes is going to quit during the match and relinquish her title. It certainly isn’t going to be an easy fight for either fighter but if Rousey is going to win and reclaim her fame she is going to have to knock Nunes out. Chances of that happening aren’t very good.
3. Lack Of Focus
Rousey has said multiple times that she is nearing the end of her MMA career, including saying to Ellen DeGeneres “This is definitely one of my last fights. Everybody better watch because the show isn’t going to last forever.”
She desperately wants another shot at Holly Holm but in order to get there she has to beat Nunes first to recapture her Bantamweight championship. She has also said that if she loses to Nunes that may be it for her. Her words could lead one to believe that she is already focusing on making movies and giving the WWE a shot, and not on what she is doing currently. Any champion will tell you that a lack of focus will lead to the failure in attaining any goal you are chasing. Looking ahead is one of the biggest no-no’s in all of sports.
Either way, she has already been in several movies and she has been cast for several more. It’s pretty obvious that her head isn’t in the game anymore. She may go on to more fame and fortune but it will be on the silver screen and not in the cage.
2. The Lasting Impact Of The Holm Fight
November 14th of 2015 Ronda Rousey was on top of the world. Many people were comparing her to some of the best fighters in the world. Not much was expected from Holly Holm the next night at UFC 193 and on paper, it was going to be another cakewalk for Rousey. The fans didn’t care that the fight was supposed to be one sided and it was the largest attendance ever to come to an event at 56,214 people at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Rousey came right out after Holm but the blonde challenger kept the Champ at bay punching her with several left hands to the head. One of the punches landed solidly and Rousey was stunned. She clearly lost a round for the first time in her career. She was bloodied and out of breath at the end of the round but the worst was yet to come.
When the second round started Rousey once again came at Holm and was once again met with a few left hands to the head. One punch caused her to stumble and Holm followed it up with the kick heard round the world. The strike to the side of Rousey’s head knocked her down and out and ended the fight for her first loss ever.
It was a devastating loss that she will never be able to overcome. As Rousey tries to get back to the level of fame that she once had there is something in the way. Holly Holm is forever in her head. No pun intended. Well, maybe a little.
1. Amanda Nunes Herself
Ronda Rousey’s long-awaited return to the ring is almost here. You can imagine all eyes are going to be on the main event at UFC 207 and you better believe Nunes will be looking to leave the octagon with the belt that she will bring to the arena. With a record of 17-4 and a recent report saying she has been training for Rousey since 2013, you can imagine Nunes is feeling confident.
Nunes is the third champion since Rousey lost the title and nobody seems to want to hold onto it for a long period of time. She is hoping to put an end to the instability that the belt has seen since Rousey got whipped by Holm.
Rousey is very popular and everyone is saying that she will win easily. People are saying Nunes should just give the belt over to Rousey and save everyone’s money. But that is based on the fact that everyone knows who she is, and popularity doesn’t win fights.
The Champ is going to have the belt around her waist when she leaves the octagon on December 30th and in a few years when people ask why Ronda Rousey never reached the height of fame again that she once had, there will be two answers: Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes.