Four Reasons Ronda Rousey Is Headed For Adversity Against Amanda Nunes

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After nearly a year away from the sport, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has finally committed to a return, as UFC president Dana White announced earlier this week that she will be taking on reigning champion Amanda Nunes in the main event of December 30’s UFC 207 from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Prior to her brutal UFC 193 knockout loss to Holly Holm, Rousey was considered to be the very best female fighter on the planet, and she may still be, but there are also some question marks surrounding her return. In addition to that, Rousey will have been away from the cage for over a year by the time UFC 207 goes down.

And she will be facing off with a tremendously dangerous fighter in Nunes, who has rattled off four straight wins since 2014 including a dominant submission win over Miesha Tate in her most recent fight.

Let’s take a look at four reasons why the “Rowdy” one is in for a tough fight with the Brazilian champion.

UFC 193: Rousey v Holm

Where is Rousey Mentally/Physically?

After dominating each and every one of the first 13 opponents put in front of her, Rousey wasn’t accustomed to losing, and it’s understandable that her loss to Holm was difficult to deal with, but we’ve seen very few fighters in the history of the sport take a loss as hard as the former Olympian did.

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She has essentially disappeared ever since that cold November night in Melbourne, Australia, and it almost seemed as if Holm had exposed some mental weaknesses within Rousey.

With that being said, it’s interesting to question where the ex-champion is at mentally? Has her aura of invincibility been permanently shattered? Has her confidence been broken? Money is obviously not the reason that Rousey, a super star in her own right, is returning to fighting, but if she isn’t in the right place mentally, she could be in for yet another rude awakening against a hungry champion.

In addition to the mental aspect is the physical aspect, and while I assume Rousey will show up in tip top shape, there’s always the chance that ring rust will play a factor given her somewhat lengthy layoff.

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Nunes’ Striking

It’s no secret that Rousey’s bread and butter has always been her Olympic level Judo and elite level submission skills, and despite her three UFC TKO victories, her striking has always been her weak point. This weak point was exposed at UFC 193 when Rousey’s striking defense was nearly nonexistent. She also found herself walking into strikes on numerous occasions.

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While Nunes isn’t a 19-time boxing champion like Holm is, she is indeed an explosive and powerful striker who hits hard and possesses legitimate finishing ability, as nine of her 13 professional victories have come by way of knockout.

With that being said, if Rousey doesn’t keep her guard up, or if she once again rushes in wildly, she could find herself eating some hard shorts, or even worse, staring up at the bright lights.

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Nunes’ Grappling Background

In my opinion, Rousey has the ability to takedown and submit any fighter in the 135-pound division. After all, she made a name for herself by throwing opponents around like rag dolls and locking in her signature arm bar. I could definitely see her doing the same to Nunes, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

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Rousey, a fourth degree black belt in Judo, and a former Olympian with nine submission victories to her credit, will be facing off with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Judo in the Brazilian champion. Nunes also holds an impressive 73% takedown defense rate.

If Rousey isn’t able to get a hold of Nunes and drag her to the mat, this bout may turn into a striking battle, which could favor the champion.

Amanda Nunes celebrates after defeating Miesha Tate during their women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Nunes’ Momentum

Nunes has won four straight bouts and six of her last seven. Three of her last four wins have come by way of stoppage, and she’s coming off of a dominant victory over a former champion. It’s safe to say that the Brazilian is riding quite the wave of momentum, and her confidence is sky high as well. In fact, she recently said that Rousey knows that she ‘cant win’.

As mentioned earlier, the “Rowdy” one is coming off of a devastating loss, and it’s unclear how here confidence has been effected. Because of that, Nunes’ momentum could play into her favor against the ex-title holder.

Who do you see winning this bout?