Ronda Rousey: The Return of the Fallen
August 1st 2015. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Ronda Rousey would defend her bantamweight crown against Bethe Correria (9-0) in hostile territory.
UFC champion Rousey knocked out the undefeated Brazilian within 34 seconds of the first round.
She was on top of the world, there were acting roles in the Entourage Movie and the Fast and Furious, every brand wanted Ronda Rousey as the face of their organization.
But just three months later everything changed.
At UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia, the queen of mixed martial arts was dethroned in dramatic fashion.
59 seconds into round number two of her bantamweight title defence against former multiple time professional boxing champion Holly Holm, Rousey was dropped with a devastating head kick.
In the build up, both Rousey and her Coach Edmund Tarverdyan spoke at length about the quality of Rousey’s boxing, and he felt that she could stand and trade with Holly Holm.
Rousey emerged in round one looking to assert her claim of being a top level striker.
However, Rousey was rocked by a strong right counter from Holm which visibly stunned her on her feet.
From then on it seemed that Rousey was fighting on instinct, she was rushing in and not trying to implement any sort of game plan.
“Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the face,” as the polarising Mike Tyson once said.
Holm, who would have been suited to stand off and counter coming from a boxing base, was too much for Rousey and she became the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion.
The loss was bitter for Rousey, with the former champion even revealing on the Ellen DeGeneres show that she suffered from suicidal ideation.
It was an eye-opening interview into the agonizing mind-set of being an elite level athlete.
In Rousey’s absence, the passing of the guard has happened two times already within the space of a few months.
Holly Holm was defeated by Ronda Rousey’s former arch nemesis Miesha Tate by rear naked choke at UFC 196 in March.
She would hold onto the belt for just four months, dropping the title to current champion Amanda Nunez by rear naked choke in the first round of a one-sided contest.
UFC 207 will be the first time since November 2015 that we will see Ronda Rousey step foot in an octagon again. She will fight Amanda Nunez for her former bantamweight title at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas Nevada.
It will be interesting to learn how she approaches this fight, since her loss to Holly Holm she has kept a low profile.
She still trains out of Glendale California with her coach Edmund Tarverdyan who came under scrutiny at UFC 203 in Cleveland for the way he acted during the stoppages in between rounds of the Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne heavyweight bout.
He almost came to blows with Werdum at the end of the fight.
There have been calls, particularly from Rousey’s ex-boyfriend and former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub, for her to ditch Tarvedyan and move to another gym.
With Edmund being primarily a striking coach, will Rousey go out and try to showcase her boxing or will she stick to what brought her to the dance?
That is being a decorated former Olympic champion in judo.
When she first entered MMA most of her opponents had never dealt with a fighter with her level of grappling and she quickly swept aside a lot of high-level fighters, most notably Cat Zingano in just 14 seconds via armbar.
Lessons have been learned since that memorable night in Melbourne and although she is not the best striker in the world, what she’s capable of in the octagon, that which made her the most dominant women’s champion in UFC history, makes her one of the most dangerous fighters in the world.
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