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UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey


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Thought I might as well get the ball rolling on this.


The hits keep coming. Important to remember this one is on a Friday, 30th December. First Friday PPV since UFC 141 in 2011 when Brock Lesnar got destroyed by Alistair Overeem.


That aside, SHE'S BACK!





Amanda Nunes vs Ronda Rousey - Bantamweight Title

Dominick Cruz vs Cody Garbrandt - Bantamweight Title

TJ Dillashaw vs John Lineker

Dong Hyun Kim vs Tarec Saffiedine

Louis Smolka vs Ray Borg



Johny Hendricks vs Neil Magny

Mike Pyle vs Alex Garcia

Antonio Carlos Junior vs Marvin Vettori

Brandon Thatch vs Niko Price



Alex Oliveira vs Tim Means


Yet another really strong PPV. The main event will get the bulk of the attention but it's a pretty deep lineup of good quality besides the Rousey Returns stuff.




Nunes vs Rousey then. What a road it's been to this fight. It's even weird seeing Rousey's name billed second, we got so used to her being the dominant champion. That shit's over now though and what we've got here is a very intriguing and hard to call fight as a result.




This is where the road to Nunes vs Rousey began. Almost a year ago to the day. It was Melbourne, Australia. It was expected to be another run of the mill title defence for Rowdy Ronda. It felt like it was being set up as a showcase for Ronda to smash someone, anyone, in a big stadium. So they called Holly Holm. Big mistake. Holm battered Ronda all over the cage for a round then brutally KO'd her with a headkick in the second.


The Ronda Rousey streak was snapped. She was no longer champion, no longer seen as unbeatable and over the coming weeks and months, she seemed no longer interested in fighting.




TMZ caught this picture of Ronda, hiding her face, coming through the airport with Travis Browne after the loss. A broken woman. This was the last image we saw of Ronda for months. And in the fallout of her crushing defeat, the online MMA fans went mental over the result. Never has there been more photoshops of a KO than there was of Ronda's loss. She did herself no favours during her title reign, and as much as I've always been a fan, I can see why there were fans who were gloating in her loss. Still, some of it must've been tough to see and Rousey pretty much went into hiding for a bit.


In her absence the women's bantamweight division rolled on. It was thought that there'd be an immediate rematch and that Holm vs Rousey 2 was pretty much a lock for UFC 200 in July. But as time went on it became crystal clear that Ronda wouldn't be ready for July, physically or mentally.




Her appearance on the Ellen show in February revealed just how badly she'd taken the loss to Holm. This was a good 3 or 4 months after the fight. She was still a blubbering wreck. It was actually quite uncomfortable to watch. Especially when she said this...


"I was like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?’ I was literally sitting there, thinking about killing myself. In the exact second, I was like, ‘I’m nothing, what am I going to do anymore? No one gives a shit about me without this.’" - Ronda Rousey


Considering it's well known that her dad committed suicide when she was a kid, she wouldn't have said this lightly. She just seemed mentally fried after that loss. And because we haven't really seen or heard from her much in the last year, it's hard to tell whether she's over the Holm loss now and ready to come back.


In the meantime, the women's 135 title became a right hot potato. It was changing hands like it was Sunny in the WWF locker room in 1996. When Holm beat Rousey I think most expected her to go on a little run with it and that she'd still be champ when Ronda came back. Wrong. In her very first defence, she lost the title to Miesha Tate. Then in Miesha Tate's first defence just a few months later at UFC 200...




She ran into Amanda Nunes. 3:16 of round one is all it took for Nunes to open up a can of Whoop Ass on Tate, stomp a mudhole in her and walk it dry. Tate just got bulldozed like she was nothing.


With that win, Nunes became the fourth UFC women's bantamweight champion and the first ever openly gay UFC champion. And she did it on the custard yellow canvas of the milestone UFC 200 event.




Pretty cool moment for Nunes.


But somewhere around this time the talk of Ronda coming back started to pick up some more steam. And that was only heightened when Rousey revealed her jaw had healed up...




How do you like them apples?


It wasn't long before Nunes starting mentioning Ronda Rousey's name as a potential challenger. When UFC 200 was out for Ronda's comeback, the rumour was that Ronda's return was being targeted for UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Obviously that didn't pan out but instead it confirmed that Rousey would return and challenge Nunes on the big end of year PPV.


Nunes doesn't seem fazed one bit...


“It’s going to be a battle. Ronda Rousey is still Ronda Rousey. She’s going to be a hard opponent. But I don’t think she can win. I have more to show than her.”


“I’m good on the ground. I know judo throws. Armbar defense. My striking is getting better and better. I'm not only good at one thing. She’s going to have a hard time.” - Amanda Nunes


She also said that Rousey looks "weak as a person" for refusing to really do any media since the loss to Holm. Ouch.


They had their little face off at the UFC 205 weigh ins in New York last week...




And Ronda again stormed off the stage after the staredown and refused to give any comment. Dana's since said that they weren't supposed to speak after the face off anyway but it wouldn't have killed Ronda to quickly say something. I think she was going for the stoic focused thing but I don't know. Something just felt a bit off and forced about it to me. Maybe I'm reading it wrong. Either way, by storming off how she did it got more people talking than if she'd said some meaningless cheesy soundbite.


I can't wait for this. I don't know what the fuck's going to happen. I always say it's interesting to see how an unbeaten fighter bounces back from their first defeat but with Ronda that interest is tenfold because she took the loss harder than maybe any fighter I've seen before. There's so many questions on Ronda now and her facing a beast like Nunes as her comeback fight makes it all the more compelling.




The other bantamweight title is on the line with Cruz vs Garbrandt in the co-main. What a fuck of a fight this is. Two really opposite styles. Very different personalities too. And it's just one more chapter in the long Dominick Cruz vs Team Alpha Male rivalry.




Cruz is coming off a decision win over his arch nemesis Urijah Faber in June. It was the rubber match to conclude a 9 year feud and Cruz won the trilogy 2-1. Cruz to me has had an incredible 2016. If not for Bisping's fairytale year, Cruz might've been my leading candidate for Fighter Of The Year. To come back from all his setbacks to regain the title from Dillashaw, then win the trilogy against Faber is really something. If he can add a win over Garbrandt then he's the silver medalist this year to Bisping's gold, IMO. Cruz is one of the best ever. It doesn't get brought up enough but he's in that discussion. 22-1, the only loss was to Faber all the way back in 2007, which he's avenged TWICE. Wins over Faber x2, Dillashaw, Mighty Mouse, Benavidez x2, Bowles etc. Plus the way he's come back from what looked like a career ending run of injuries and seems to not only have not missed a beat, he actually seems better than he was before! Phenomenal.




Garbrandt is no joke though. Undefeated at 10-0 with 9 knockouts, 7 in the first round. He's coming off back to back knockouts of the previously unbeaten Thomas Almeida and the crafty veteran Takeya Mizugaki. He knocked out Mizugaki even faster than Cruz did as well, then he called Cruz out. At that point this fight was a no-brainer. Plus like I said, it's Cruz vs Alpha Males again. Garbrandt will be looking ti avenge his mentor Faber's loss and bring the belt back to Sacramento. And Cruz will be trying to knock another member of the team down a peg so he can continue calling them Alpha Fails.




Werdum vs Velasquez 2 should be tremendous if it's even a patch on the war they had in Mexico at UFC 188. This was supposed to happen in February for the title but Cain, as Cain tends to do, got injured. Werdum ended up losing the title to Stipe Miocic so now this rematch isn't for gold, it's a matter of pride and settling who's the better man. There were many questions after the first fight. The altitude in Mexico played its part, Cain was coming off a long layoff etc.




Regardless of all that, the first fight was fantastic. I actually think the high altitude and them both gassing added to the drama in its own way. They both just left it all in the cage, both got hurt, I think both got dropped. Werdum just seemed to be one step ahead though and in the end he was able to catch Cain in a guillotine choke for a second round submission.


They're both coming into this rematch off a win over Travis 'Mr Rousey' Browne. Cain smashed him inside a round at UFC 200. Then Werdum schooled him to a decision in September at UFC 203, then nearly got into a fight with Edmond the Brainless as the decision was being read out.


I think this is a brilliant fight and I actually love the timing of it. I think this fight's been overlooked big time, to be honest. It should be great and I guess it'll determine who challenges Miocic for the title in the new year.




Hendricks vs Magny is a decent fight. Doesn't do much for me really other than offer the possibility of seeing Hendricks lose again, which is never a bad use of 15 minutes. I've turned the corner on Magny this year. Used to find him dull as dishwater but he's had some good fights of late. Hendricks can piss off though.




Stun Gun vs Saffiedine has serious show stealer potential, I reckon. Really enjoy watching both these guys. Kim is a bit of a madman. When he wants to he can be a very effective suffocating grappler but other times he'll just go out there and throw caution to the wind like the Erick Silva fight or when he KO'd John Hathaway with a crazy spinning elbow. He should probably try to grapple this one out though. Saffiedine's striking, especially his leg kicking, is too sharp. We'll see though.




Dillashaw vs Lineker is 207's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. Even though I've got a bad feeling that little wanker Dillashaw is going to run rings around my main man Lineker, I live in hope that the old 'Hands of Stone' find their target and knock that stupid beady eyes expression off TJ's face. You never know. I thought Dodson would be too fast, too crafty and too well rounded for Lineker and Lineker won that. I think TJ gets the W this time though.


Rest of the card looks alright as well. Can see Pyle vs Garcia being good. I usually always enjoy Mike Pyle's fights. Same with Tim Means. All action type fighters. Then you've got Brandon Thatch who was showing bags of promise before it all went a bit Pete Tong for him. Hopefully he can get back on track. And Smolka vs Borg jerking the curtain could be the sleeper on the card.


What a way to end the year.

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holy moly, Wand. is churning them out!


I hadn't even realised that the majority of this card was set but it's another cracker, the UFC really are killing it at the moment. Bodes well for 2017. Between this and Rizin, that's my new year's sorted, i got no interest in hitting the town anymore, a night in with a couple of cans of NYE and this on the telly will do me nicely.

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I must have been asleep when Cain vs Werdum 2 was made. I only knew it was on when I opened this thread. Any more early Xmas gifts Wand?


I was talking about the Rousey fight with a friend a few weeks ago. For some reason he asked me about this fight rather than McGregor vs Alvarez. My opinion is pretty fixed, I think Nunes will polish off Rousey in the same way that Holm did. The blueprint is there, and Nunes has the power and skills to follow it. I think Ronda will call it a day afterwards, and stick to it. Similar to Gina. The division will have a new dawning in 2017 without Rousey and Tate - both of whom will be inducted into the HOF one day for their relevance. 

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holy moly, Wand. is churning them out!

I'm stuck at home after surgery on my knee and my wife and daughter are laying around on the sofa with girl flu. And they slag us men off for milking it! I'm bored shitless.


That and the show's not far away. Thought I might as well just knock a thread up. With Ronda's return this show is probably going to get a fair bit of discussion so makes sense to do that here rather than clog up the MMA News thread.


Oh and Werdum vs Cain 2 was announced in September. In the fallout of McGregor vs Diaz 2 and right in the middle of all that CM Punk madness. I vaguely recall someone did post that it was happening on here but it understandably got lost in the shuffle given the timing of the announcement.

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Rogan and Schaub talk Nunes vs Rousey...




Interesting that Schaub is so confident in a Rousey win. I get what he means in that Nunes being an aggressive, come forward fighter plays to Ronda's strengths. But we really don't know if Ronda's going to be the same coming back now. She's coming off her first loss, it was a loss in brutal fashion and she's had a year to sit out, get all out of shape and rusty and keep thinking about it and letting it eat away at her. Couple that with the fact I think she's keeping fucking Edmond on as her head coach, there's not much to find confidence in.


Oh and Rogan's really been living in the UFC bubble too long, or he's smoked way too much weed, if he really thinks Conor McGregor is bigger than Muhammad Ali now.

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Rousey and Garbrandt are getting their arses handed to them here, I reckon. Just feels like Rousey won't be the same and that the rest of the division has moved on a bit. It's probably unfair to say that she was never as good as she seemed, but she definitely managed to use the strengths she did have to her advantage. She never seemed like a complete all round fighter and I think Nunes, her stand up and her toughness, will now be too much.

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It's difficult to say because they're both such strong starters I just don't know what's going to happen when the bell rings. The biggest doubt is will Ronda still be that fast starter or will she freeze out there with what happened in her last fight? It's impossible to know and we'll only get the answer when the cage door closes. Everything else is guesswork.


Nunes is basically the female Vitor Belfort. She's lethal for a round or so. But if you can get through that she drops off as the fight goes on. It's easier said than done weathering that storm though. And I've got a bad feeling Nunes is going to tag Rousey a couple of times and Rousey's going to panic and turtle up. Can see it looking like a bit like Cain vs Brock, to be honest. Complete with Gutted Dana Face in the post-fight.

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Yeah that's how I see it going. The way to beat Nunes seems to be to weather the storm and pounce on her as she's fading. But that's so much easier said than done. Cat Zingano did it but Cat Zingano is tough as old boots and had to walk through fire to get to the point where Nunes started slowing down.


With how Ronda fights, it's kill or be killed. I don't think she knows how to fight any other way. It probably stems from her judo days where you'd use your techniques in bursts and go all in with it 100%. I don't think she has the patience or the particular skillset that I think is required to cause Nunes to fade.


The more I think about this fight, the more I see Rousey getting fucking destroyed. Plus, has Ronda made ANY changes to her camp? I heard nothing that she was doing any meaningful training in her off time. I heard nothing that she was looking into bringing in top strikers/striking coaches to work on her weaknesses. And most worryingly, I've heard absolutely fuck all that she's cutting ties with Shitehawk Edmond. Even Ronda's own mother publicly ripped him to shreds and that was before Ronda got bashed up by Holm. And Ronda's mum usually backed up all of Ronda's decisions. She was the loudest critic of Edmond though. Mother definitely knows best in this situation.


All added up, I think Ronda's heading for another battering. This fight just feels like bad news for her.

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I think, to echo part of what Schaub was saying, Nunes' style could play right into Rousey's hands.


The problem Rousey had with Holm is the range of her strikes and how technically superior she was. If Nunes does come out all guns blazing I could easily see Rousey throwing her to the ground and arm barring her quickly.


Just look at her fight with Zingano to see how fighters do against her when they rush into her. 


If Nunes chooses to box with Rousey and attempt to keep the distance it could be a troubling night for Rousey, but for some reason I see Rousey chucking Nunes to the floor and winning this.

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You could be onto something I guess, Lamby. Nunes is almost the complete opposite to Holm. And the things that Holm shined in against Rousey - counter striking, distance control, clinch defence - aren't really strengths that you'd necessarily associate Nunes with. Nunes is all aggression. I could certainly see a scenario where Nunes bullrushes in and Ronda uses her aggression against her, throws her and gets the sub. That's how she won pretty much all her fights. A big part of the reason why Holm was so successful is because she did the complete opposite to everyone else and she chose to hang back and counter and made Ronda come to her.


But I don't know. I've just got this feeling that the way Ronda lost and the way she was in the months following the loss, I'm not sure she'll ever be the same. That whole situation could've been her Mike Tyson losing to Buster Douglas moment. Where she'll never be quite the same now that aura of invincibility is gone and, maybe more importantly, she now knows she's not invincible. She might be damaged goods mentally.


I hope not. I've been a Rousey fan since almost day one when she just started Goldberging her way through women in Strikeforce in seconds. She's made it difficult at times to be a fan but I'd fucking love to see her come back better and more determined than ever and just wreck everyone in the division again. The UFC is more fun, and especially the women's side, for having Ronda Rousey around. Whether you're a fan or you want her to lose.


I like Nunes a lot. But I hope she sees in the new year beltless and with her arm in a sling.

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It's a big draw, not just Rousey returning after a year out but also a ton of questions. Has she worked on her stand-up in her time away? Will she stick with the bread and butter of trying to throw Nunes to the mat? And the big one, what's her mental state like?


That'll be her undoing, I think, the answer to the last question. Rousey always seemed a bit off, like her interactions with Miesha and the permanent mean mug, but that could be excused as her competitive drive. Now, though, you've got things like her tearing Vanzant a new one for congratulating Holm, and you start to wonder how she'll cope in the cage. I think she'll be gunshy and nervous, and open her up to Nunes blazing through her. A confident Rousey capitalises on the forward momentum and armbars her in seconds, but I don't believe she has that confidence anymore.


I'd love to see some young blood at men's bantamweight with a Cody Garbrandt title win, but I see Cruz's footwork being too much, and I expect him (almost literally) to run circles around Cody, not allowing Garbrandt to connect with that ridiculous power.


Cardio Cain returns now that the heavyweights aren't at altitude, and scores a second round TKO.

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The easy money says it'll be a typical Cruz dominant decision win, but if there's one guy who i could see getting frustrated at Cruz' style it's Garbrandt. It may end badly for him but i can see Garbrandt rushing in and being reckless if he's frustrated. Cruz likely counters that but Garbrandt will force issue, i think it makes for an exciting fight.

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