Ronda Rousey has been a ghost for the past thirteen months since her defeat at the hands of Holly Holm. Since then it’s been radio silence on the “Rowdy” front and as such fans have been waiting with baited breath to see how Rousey would rebound from her first loss. The sad part about Ronda’s big comeback party is that she’ll have to lock horns with current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Usually, a breakdown would follow this introductory paragraph, but you have to shake things up now and again. So instead, here’s five points of interest to watch out for in the UFC 207 main event.
1. The Same Coaching Staff
So, Ronda Rousey has stuck with the same coaching staff following her last bout at UFC 193. While her loyalty may be commendable, one has to wonder if it’s truly the smartest move. The biggest takeaway from the fight besides Rousey’s first defeat was the lack of valuable information in the corner between rounds. Edmond Tarverdyan may be able to teach boxing with adequate results, but at this level of the game cornering a pro fighter should be more nuanced. The biggest issue with his coaching was that he failed to offer his fighter new adjustments between rounds. Rousey was dominated for the first time in her career and when she returned to her corner, no valuable strategies were awaiting her. Some fighters need a pep talk between rounds, that’s true. But in the heat of competition words of encouragement won’t cut it. If Ronda faces adversity at UFC 207, Tarverdyan better be prepared to give his fighter tangible advice.
2. New Techniques?
If Ronda Rousey hopes to be champion again come Friday then she’ll need to show some new wrinkles to her game. Rather than just throwing punches in bunches and looking for a hip toss, kicks of all variety should be on the table if she wants to be successful. Throwing a fighter off their game, making them uncomfortable, that’s the key to grasping victory.
Also, what new goodies does Nunes have cooked up? We could just be scratching the surface of the champion’s skills. Don’t be surprised if Nunes starts throwing wheel kicks out there, especially considering her traditional martial arts background. As we all know anything can happen in an MMA match.
3. Ring/Cage Rust
Rousey’s been gone for a minute while Nunes has been collecting scalps and cutting checks. That time away could have either hurt Ronda or sent her game to a new level. This fight could easily come down to activity versus stagnation.
4. Striking Difference
I mentioned striking before, but this is truly the field in which both fighters will need to keep their eyes open. Ronda can’t afford to bull rush and hope to connect a good shot on the champ’s chin. Nunes will also need to be cognizant of the same thing. She can’t afford to blink or get flustered by Rousey’s pressure game. Ronda will need to show patience (and feints for Gods sake) to close distance while Nunes will need to keep the former champ on the outside and at the end of her strikes.
5. Who’s The Better Grappler?
Once the fight hits the mat things are sure to get interesting. Both women come from a judo background and both have strong ground games, albeit in different ways. Nunes has impressive top control and is extremely violent when she’s in that position. Ronda hunts for submissions the moment the fight gets to the ground. It’ll be a positional battle with Nunes having to avoid consistent submission attempts while Ronda avoids being brained by the champion.
So, who do you got in the UFC 207 main event?
Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.
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