Amanda Nunes dished out a decisive beating on Ronda Rousey to successfully defend her bantamweight title then offered some sound advice for the queen of old.
The Brazilian emphatically swatted aside Rousey in 48 seconds in the main event of UFC 207 in Las Vegas, as the former champion was again exposed for the gaping holes in her striking ability.
Fighting for the first time in more than a year since the shuddering headkick KO from Holy Holm at UFC 193, Rousey was stunned by a right-hand in virtually the first exchange.
Nunes sensed it, poured on the pressure and relentlessly fired piston-like two-punch combinations until referee Herb Dean mercifully came to Rousey’s aid to stop the fight.
“I saw (she was hurt) after the first punch,” Nunes said. “And then it built my confidence to keep it going.”
And she didn’t stop. But for all the praise you can lay at Nunes’ feet, equal criticism must be directed at Rousey. The 29-year-old is an Olympic medallist in Judo. She built her fearsome reputation in MMA around her Judo base and yet has completely abandoned it in favour of trying to strike with first, one of the best female boxers of all time in Holm, and now with one of the most powerful punchers in women’s MMA.
The last L of 2016 😫😫😫😫😫😫 Ronda Rousey blocking with her face 😢 pic.twitter.com/ZQnqoCJjyG— My Mixtapez (@mymixtapez) December 31, 2016
It’s simply illogical. No one packaged up that feeling better than the woman who had just exposed the deficiencies further as Nunes had some wise words for Rousey and her coach Edmond Tarverdyan.
“I knew if I had that strategy in the beginning – that if she gave me the opportunity – I could finish her,” said Nunes after retaining the belt she won by beating Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in July.
“I knew [Rousey] was going to strike with me, because she thinks it because her boxing coach told her she has good striking.
“I knew she was going to strike a little bit with me, but when I started to connect with some punches I knew she would want to start to clinch with me.”
Hope Rousey is fine mentally and spiritually after this fight. Most of you will never know the pressure! Yet y'all gone talk crazy smh— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) December 31, 2016
Nunes added: “She thinks that she’s a boxer, you know? He [Tarverdyan] like put this thing in her head and make the girl believe in that. I don’t know why he did that. She have great judo, and she can go far in this division, but he put some crazy thing about boxing, and her career started to go down.”
Much of the pre-fight promotional push was dominated by the return of Rousey with Nunes, despite being champion, nothing more than a footnote. “Fear the return” was the tagline, but now it may be a case of brace for the exit. And Nunes agrees it could be the last we see of Rousey in MMA.
“Yeah, that’s it for her. For sure she’s going to retire,” the 28-year-old said.
“She can’t take anymore. She’s a millionaire already. Why does she want to keep doing that? You know, keep hurting herself. I’m going to be the champion forever and she has to retire. Because she’s never going to get that anymore.”
Weird ... called that one. She should have never been fed to the lioness in the first place.— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) December 31, 2016