At UFC 207, Ronda Rousey will attempt to regain her championship title, but her longtime rival, Miesha Tate, doubts the former champion’s heart.
This Friday at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, NV, Ronda Rousey will make her long-awaited return against the current bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Rousey has been out of action for more than a year after having the 135-pound title wrested away via knockout by the hands of Holly Holm at UFC 193. Since then, the bantamweight title has seen three different champions. No champion, after Rousey, has been able to defend her title.
Rousey will seek to continue that trend by defeating Nunes at UFC 207, as the champion has yet to defend her belt. However, in an interview with Skip Bayless on “Undisputed,” former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate second guessed her longtime rival’s heart, as compared to that of other “competitive” fighters.
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“I think that if she really wanted to continue fighting, she would have been back in there sooner. That’s what always seems to be with really competitive people just when they lose, they want to get back in there and do it again and do it again, do it again, do it again.”
Tate went on to criticize the UFC for allowing Rousey to not attend hardly any promotional events to hype the fight. She stated, “I think this is a huge fight and both of them should be doing the media. There’s never been an exception.”
Tate is correct. Even Conor McGregor, arguably the UFC’s biggest star, was pulled as the headliner from UFC 200, due to having missed a press conference and other media obligations. However, Rousey’s non-MMA media attention is immense. She possesses major crossover appeal and has starred in The Expendable 3, Furious 7, and Entourage. This year, the 29-year-old even landed on Forbes’ highest paid female athlete’s list for the second time in two years.
Despite Rousey’s fame and star power, in a UFC promo video (h/t TMZ) the Olympic judo bronze medalist recently and emphatically stated her intentions concerning her title opportunity at UFC 207.
“I don’t care about how this pay-per-view does. I don’t care about how much money I make. I don’t care about interviews and I don’t care how I look. All I care about is winning my belt back on Friday night and that’s it.”
If Rousey wins at UFC 207, her options become limitless. She could retire with the belt on Friday night, or she may possibly face the winner of the inaugural women’s featherweight title between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208. In that, Rousey could be just two wins away from becoming the UFC’s first women’s two-weight world champion.