In front of a sold-out crowd as the main event at UFC 207 in Las Vegas, Nevada, former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was completely picked apart against champion Amanda Nunes. Rousey, a known grappler and ground fighter, tried exchanging blows with one of the best female strikers in MMA. Nunes connected with 23 out of a possible 35 strikes and took down Rousey in 48 seconds for a first-round TKO.
For Rousey, this is her second straight loss after winning 12 straight professional bouts. From the very beginning, Rousey was unable to bring the fight to the ground and simply could not stand in the center of the ring with a fighter like Nunes. In front of a crowd of over 19,000 and over 1 million people watching at home, Rousey's career as a professional fighter is in serious doubt.
After over 400 days between fights, many thought Rousey would come out with a different gameplan after losing to a much similar fighter in Holly Holm. Against Holm, Rousey attempted to trade blows before being knocked out with a kick to the head for her first loss in the octagon. Similarly to her fight with Holm, Rousey tried to match Nunes strike-for-strike and was simply outclassed. If Rousey decides to stay in the UFC, I believe she needs to switch up her camp. While Rousey will never be the boxer or striker that Nunes or Holm is, she needs to be able to hold her own in order to get a chance to bring the fight to the ground.
If I am Rousey, I assess the amount of damage my body has taken over the past two fights and think extremely hard if I want to continue with this lifestyle. She absolutely does not need the money and could very easily transition into a successful career in Hollywood if she chooses that path.
If this is truly the end of Rousey, even if you loathe her, you have to respect what she did for women MMA fighters. She revolutionized the sport and was able to make women the main events in front of sold-out crowds. President Dana White famously said that he would never allow women to fight in UFC, but changed his tune once he saw what Rousey was capable of.
From an avid UFC and MMA fighter, if this is truly the end, thank you Ronda Rousey.