What may have been left of the Ronda Rousey Era ended with a thud, as incumbent UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes dominated her in a 48 second victory in the main event of UFC 207 on Saturday night. Nunes punched Rousey in the opening seconds and kept punching her until she staggered backwards into the fence and was putting up no defense. The ref stepped in, without controversy, to stop the fight.
Rousey recovered and stood mid-ring, almost in a trance-like state. Defeat soaked in as Nunes “shhh’d” the stunned crowd, who were pro-Rousey from ring entrances through the gloves tapping. Rousey stood mid-ring, her head hanging. Nunes leaped up and down excitedly as Bruce Buffer readied to announce the winner. Rousey immediately marched out of the Octagon, her face frozen with a sunken, sullen look.
“People, let’s stop this Ronda Rousey nonsense,” Nunes told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview inside the Octagon. “I’m the champion here, Amanda Nunes, The Lioness!” Rogan said she just won over the crowd.
Nunes said she loved that all the attention was on Rousey leading into the fight because she knew she’d show everybody she was better. “Nobody is going to take this belt from me,” she said, exuding elation with every word. “I knew I was gonna beat the shit out of Ronda Rousey. For a long time, since my first fight in UFC, I knew it was going to happen. I am the best on the planet.”
She demonstratively began waving her right arm dramatically and implored the crowd to embrace her. “Bullshit Ronda Rousey!” she said. “Now she’s going to retire and go to movies. She already has a lot of money… Forget about Ronda Rousey!”
As Rogan tried to wrap up the interview, Nunes grabbed the mic and spoke to Brazil in Portuguese. Rogan told Mike Goldberg a few minutes later he didn’t know if he’d ever get the mic back.
Keller’s Analysis: This outcome would seemingly conclude Rousey’s MMA career for the time being. There will be big money in Rousey returning in a few years, whether or not she has success outside of UFC in movies, once there’s a new story to tell and Rousey can sell that she’s in a different place now. I wouldn’t put money on that happening, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Jonathan Coachman, a former WWE announcer who is now with ESPN, says that one-sided loss eliminates Rousey’s market value for WWE. He wrote: “Sorry no chance. You can’t bring in her at any point. Perception matters. That performance mattered.” I agree.