UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes opens up on Ronda Rousey’s media blackout and how it is affecting her before their title bout on Friday.
When Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey over a year ago it shook up the MMA world. Rousey was the sport’s biggest star and the loss sent her into an extended hiatus that had many wondering if she would ever return. Well after more than a year off, Rousey is finally set to step back into the cage on Friday when she challenges UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes for the title.
But this time things are very different. Before the loss, Rousey was one of the most promotionally savvy fighters on roster, a crossover star and media darling. But after the loss, Rousey avoided the spotlight, giving very limited interviews where she spoke candidly about depression and suicidal thoughts. Heading into UFC 207, Rousey is continuing that reclusive streak, participating in none of the traditional media events, leaving the UFC to promote the fight essentially without her help.
But for the woman standing across the cage from her on Friday night, that’s a good thing. Speaking with the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently, Amanda Nunes says she’s happy Rousey is refusing to do media because it makes everything easier for her too.
“I don’t know what is wrong with this girl, I’m gonna be honest with you,” Nunes said. “But if she wants to play this game, she’s playing with the wrong person. I’m very focused and I know how I’m gonna stop her…
“It’s good for me. I don’t like to do a lot of interviews. I like to train and then step in the cage and do my job. This is the thing that I like to do. I’m okay. It’s good for me Ronda Rousey’s not doing anything. I can rest and focus on my training and losing weight and that’s it. “
Nunes won the title from Rousey’s rival Miesha Tate at UFC 200, submitting Tate in the first round. Afterwards, Julianna Pena was angling hard for a title shot against her but Nunes only had eyes for Rousey, the biggest star in the division. That may be why Nunes doesn’t have a problem with the concessions made to Rousey ahead of their fight or the fact that she believes the UFC wouldn’t be so kind to her if the shoe was on the other foot.
“I think they would make me [do media], for sure. I think the UFC would make me do it if [I said], ‘I don’t want to do anything.’ They love Ronda Rousey, what are you gonna do? Kick her ass. I will do it. “
But the UFC’s willingness to acquiesce to Rousey’s media blackout demands could have even more unfortunate consequences for Nunes. As champion, Nunes stands to receive a percentage of pay-per-view profits and while Rousey’s return still figures to be a big event, her unwillingness to do media coupled with the event taking place on a Friday instead of the normal Saturday pay-per-view time slot could seriously affect the buyrate. But Nunes isn’t too concerned, stating that despite the different build up she believes people will still tune in to see Rousey fight.
“I think people respect that she comes back. I think it’s still gonna be a huge pay-per-view sell because this is the question: you guys don’t want to see [this]? You guys want to see, right? Even she’s not here to talk to you guys but you guys still want to see her. And me too.”
If they do, Nunes stands to gain more than just a hefty paycheck. UFC 207 figures to be one of the bigger events of the year and the kind of mainstream media Rousey can attract will give Nunes the biggest possible platform to promote herself. When Holly Holm knocked out Rousey at UFC 193, she became an overnight sensation and that is something Nunes hopes to replicate and the reason she was so set on this fight.
“This is the thing I talked to Dana White about. I want to fight somebody that makes my title defenses big. I want to be the main event, this is the thing I want to do. My next title defense is huge, had to be against Ronda Rousey because Ronda Rousey is the big name in this division and only her is gonna make this possible. Whatever they want to do with this promotion they can do but at the end of the day I’m the best, I’m the champ, I have the belt, I will keep the belt.”
Color me shocked. Josh Barnett was flagged by USADA for failing an out-of-competition drug test.
Rematch. Off the UFC 207 card, Fabricio Werdum wants Stipe Miocic rematch.
Salt. T.J. Dillashaw says Cruz-Garbrandt makes a “mockery of the sport.”
Cool. Joseph Benavidez says Urijah Faber’s legacy is that he “made short guys cool.”
Embedded 2: A wild Ronda appears.
Cro Cop before the Rizin weigh-in.
Chael on Ronda’s media blackout.
Dana says Brock is done.
Mickey Gall saying he’ll be the champ one day.
The Naked Gambler joins to discuss UFC 207
The MMA Report.
Looking like I’ll be getting that title shot soon. All I have to do is be patient because these mofos testing positive left and right
— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) December 28, 2016
The champ weighs in.
The welterweight champ @TWooodley weighs-in on the co-main and main event at #UFC207!! Who are YOU taking? pic.twitter.com/c85huEtnHE
— #UFC207 (@ufc) December 27, 2016
And beefing with USADA for being absurd.
#USADA Im all about the testing, but when I go to tell u my every location for 3month(which how would I know that) don’t give me a quiz too
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) December 28, 2016
Angie coming in hot.
Cause you’re not a real man until you get a little blood on your sword https://t.co/s5iFJU8yKz
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) December 27, 2016
This is patently untrue.
The shits I take in the morning are more exciting than anything you will ever do in your life. Cry more. https://t.co/Jbo4vIUeT4
— Jon Fitch (@jonfitchdotnet) December 28, 2016
Everybody gunning for 2 belts.
Hmmm not sure which one to take first https://t.co/oZJMoKj0G9
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) December 28, 2016
Dom with a Facebook Live.
LIVE w/ the bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz ahead of #UFC207! Got questions? Ask ⬇️
Posted by UFC on Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Nate’s never gonna stop going in.
He never wanted to be in there with me in the first place he plotted a escape from the beginning and he still got worked the last fight.. This videos for you and your team..
A video posted by natediaz209 (@natediaz209) on Dec 27, 2016 at 5:09pm PST
Ronda looks angry.
#FearTheReturn #FridayDec30 #rouseyvsnunes #ufc207 Pic by @ewillphoto
A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on Dec 27, 2016 at 10:33am PST
Aldo on the mitts.
Soltando os braços @kikaegigiodiniz #reebok #reebokbrasil #vitafornutriente #maisfortequeomundo
A video posted by josealdojunioroficial (@josealdojunioroficial) on Dec 26, 2016 at 5:31pm PST
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2013: Anderon Silva snapped his leg in grotesque fashion in his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168. In the co-main event, Ronda Rousey submitted Miesha Tate with a third round armbar in their rematch. This event also featured the final bout of Chris Leben’s career, who retired from the fight and the sport on his stool after the first round of his fight with Uriah Hall.
If Amanda Nunes wins, she will be one of two fighters to headline and win in multiple million buy PPVs this year, the other being Conor McGregor. Hell, historically there are only a handful of people who can make the claim to have done that ever in this sport. Kind of wild to think about.
Anyway, be easy y’all.
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Source:: mma fighting