Dana White made it official. Ronda Rousey isn’t retired. And she is going to fight. And it’s going to be against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 Dec. 30 in Las Vegas: that’s great. I can’t wait to see what she’s really about and how she comes back. Because honestly, I was starting to doubt we’d ever see her again.
I started to think maybe she had already retired and just not told anyone. I get that she suffered a major beating at the hands of Holly Holm. That was both a physical and emotional beat down.
After all, when she was on top, and the biggest thing in the entire sport, she told me she’d rather die than lose. And when I followed up and said, you’d rather die than lose, she said, I’d rather die than lose.
If she really meant that, you could imagine how she must have felt after the Holm fight; because that wasn’t just a loss that was a humiliating beat down. That wasn’t a matter of her losing a war where she earned respect in defeat. That was Ronda getting knocked the hell out. That was Ronda and her coach thinking they could strike with Holm, only to have Holm beat her face in and then kick her in the head. That was Ronda coming home and hiding in a pillow at LAX after the fight and then going off the grid for months.
So yes, I wondered if we’d see her again. And now we have the answer, and it’s awesome. She was great when she was ripping everyone’s arm off in 10 seconds. But let’s see how she responds to her first real adversity in the cage. Because her aura and mystique are gone. Much like Mike Tyson when Buster Douglas shocked the world and knocked him out… Iron Mike was never the seen the same way after that: guys used to be terrified when they stepped into the ring with Tyson: he’d already won many of the fights before they even started. Ronda was the same way.
I want to see if that’s the case with her and if her confidence is shot… or if she comes back even stronger and better for it. She’ll have to be because Nunes is tough: very athletic, very skilled, and had very little trouble submitting a pro in Miesha Tate.
And while it might not be Ronda v. Cyborg, the fight that a lot of people want, this is a tune up fight: Dana White isn’t putting her with some can to rebuild her confidence going into a fight with Cyborg. This is a really dangerous fight. A title fight. Lose this fight, and there’s a good chance we don’t see Ronda again.