On December 30th 2016 former UFC champion Ronda Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) finally made her return to the octagon at UFC 207 after a 13-month lay-off but her attempt to regain her 135lb belt against Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) proved to be nothing short of a disaster.
Lasting only 48-seconds the champion bulldozed through Rousey with a flurry of punches before referee Herb Dean intervened giving The Brazilian her first successful title defense.
Although the former Olympic Judoka was unable to achieve her career dream of retiring undefeated a fighter who did was former boxing champion and daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali.
The female fighter holds a flawless record of 24-0 career victories spanning 8 years from 1999 to 2007. Whilst appearing on The Rich Eisen show the 39-year old spoke of Rousey’s loss admitting that the UFC fighter’s camp were partly to blame for her defeat stating she could come out of her 10 year retirement and would still not get beat like that.
“I have seen people when they just do so bad they will fire everybody and blame the camp. I think some bad decisions have been made on the part of the camp. I wouldn’t have put her in there with that particular girl who was so strong with her hands knowing that she can’t really take a punch. I don’t think it had to do with the ring rust, I could get in the ring now and I wouldn’t get beat like that. Even if you lose a fight in the end, I wanna see you take some punches be in the fight and maybe at a certain point you get tired and you wear down because you have the ring rust. So I think you definitely would have wanted to get in there with a couple of people that you know 100% she can build her confident and work on some things.”
During her interview the American labelled Rousey’s chin being exposed as a major factor in why the fans turned on the former champion.
“It was a big let-down, especially when you find out somebody can’t take a punch in this sport, you’ve got to be able to do that. And now her chin has kind of been exposed, everyone is going to be going for it. It’s kind of sad to see.”
Ali also admitted it was sad to see how the fans turned against Rousey after her unsuccessful return to the octagon;
“It’s always sad to see someone who was way up here, get knocked all the way down to the bottom. And you know it’s really sad to see how the fans sometimes can turn on you because now there making memes and making fun of her and because they brought into she was so great and she was the best.”
During Rousey’s 3-year reign, fans spoke of how the UFC bantamweight champion could beat the former boxing champion which brought Ali to comment on the fact people are now asking her to train Rousey.
“I remember when they wanted to see us fight, trying to promote a fight between us. But now they want to see me train her. And I’m like but you thought she could beat me? What happened?”
The undefeated boxer spoke of how she could be tempted to train the former bantamweight champion for the right price despite not being a fan of training fighters.
“I don’t train fighters I never have. You can’t train somebody’s chin to take a punch. But for the right amount of money we could probably make it happen. It would be interesting to see ‘Can Laila bring her back?’ I don’t know we’ll see.”
It’s a partnership that leaves the mouthwatering if it was to happen and be successful however is another fight in the UFC the best move for Ronda Rousey and was champion Amanda Nunes the right opponent for the returning Ronda Rousey