UFC 207: Interpreting Ronda Rousey’s Silence at UFC 205 Weigh-In

Ronda Rousey faced off with current champion Amanda Nunes following the UFC 205 weigh in.  As surprising as the encounter was, Rousey’s silence was perhaps more confusing.

The fans at Madison Square Garden were given a special surprise following the UFC 205 weigh-in. After Eddie Alvarez faced off with Conor McGregor, the UFC 207 main event faced off as Amanda Nunes had a stare down with Ronda Rousey for the fans in New York.

The spectacle came and went so fast that the public barely even had time to process it.  The two stared each other down intensely before separating.  Rousey had no interest in remaining on the stage and had to be retained by Dana White for a photo op before being allowed to leave the stage.

The champion offered little else, giving a cookie-cutter sound bite to Joe Rogan before leaving the stage as well.  While an appearance by the two fighters was the icing on the cake of pre-fight festivities, it has left fans in greater suspense for UFC 207.

Since the fight was announced, the only notable appearance Rousey has made is on the couch of Ellen Degeneres.  Even then, she provided little insight to her mindset going into December.  The only talking point she has given is to say that she is in the final fights of her career. All of which makes her silence more perplexing.

Rousey seems intent on continuing her media silence and foregoing any of her familiar showmanship.  There is the possibility that she will have a new tone if she is victorious at UFC 207, but from her demeanor on Friday there’s a chance that the media darling who took the world by storm in 2015 could be more subdued in the future.

Following the loss to Holly Holm last November, Rousey was vocal in her displeasure with how she was treated by fans in the aftermath.  So far, she has stuck to her comments that she feels she made herself too available to the media in the past and will be more reserved going forward.

On the one hand, Rousey is not obligated to take more media commitments beyond those necessary.  Every interview or appearance is done to connect with the public and she can choose to give as many as she wants.  That said, Rousey became a star by being as loud and outspoken outside the Octagon as she is talented inside it.  For her to continue to refuse to speak only furthers a disconnect from her fan base.

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Her silence in 2016 has created the perception that she lacks the ability to handle losing after being boisterous in so many victories.  So far, she has done the bare minimum toward Amanda Nunes.  She took her stance and looked the champion in the eye long enough for fans and media to capture the moment on camera on Friday afternoon.  As December 30 approaches, it will be interesting to see how she handles the multitude of questions presented during fight week.

Until then, the public will just have to wait and wonder if the Rousey who returns to the cage will be familiar or different from the one fans are used to as well.

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