It’s official – Ronda Rousey will return to the Octagon to fight current womans bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 207 in Las Vegas on December 30th.
UFC president Dana White officially announced the fight during an interview on ‘The Herd’ show with Colin Cowherd on FOX Sports 1.
Given the media whirlwind she was caught up in last year, Rousey has been relatively quiet in 2016, taking a full year out of action following her brutal KO loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November of 2015.
According to White that long lay-off wasn’t due to any mental hang-ups about returning to the Octagon following such a devasating loss.
“It was never really about a psychological problem with Ronda,” White said.
“The thing with Ronda was she wanted time off. She said ‘I want to go away, I want to relax’ but this girl worked hard for us for three years, non-stop, fight after fight, promotion after promotion and she wanted time off. In this sport, I say it all the time — if you even hint that I want to retire, or I want time off, you need to do it in this sport. You’ve got to be all in, in this sport. You’ve got to be all in, you’ve got to be a killer, you’ve got to want it, you’ve got to want to be a world champion.”
Though Rousey has yet to comment on her comeback, she does appear to have her head back in the game judging by a single hashtag she posted yesterday alongside the new UFC 207, which simply said, ‘#fearthereturn’.
As for Nunes, she’s over the moon about having the chance to fight the superstar, and White said she never had a moments hesitation in accepting the bout.
“Amanda has been ready to fight whoever we wanted her fight,” White said. “She was ready to defend her title against whoever. And, obviously, you know for somebody like Amanda who beat Miesha Tate. Miesha Tate has been the second best fighter in the world for seven years behind Rousey. Miesha Tate is awesome. She went in and she destroyed Miesha Tate.
“So, for her coming off a fight like that and now having the opportunity to fight Ronda Rousey, huge for Amanda.”
White was also asked about the possibility of a fight between Rousey and her biggest rival, Cris ‘Cyborg’ in the future, and he suggested that if ‘Rowdy’ was to reclaim the title then that dream match-up could be next.
“I know that Cyborg wants that fight. Ronda wants that fight too. Ronda’s plan right now is to come back and try to win her title back. If that happens, the Cyborg fight will definitely happen.”