If you happened to get turned on to Friday’s UFC 207 event purely off of the promotional ads from the UFC, you may have known Ronda Rousey was returning but not who she was fighting. That’s because the organization made the somewhat puzzling decision to focus all of the advertising on Ronda’s comeback, without spending any significant time on her opponent and reigning champion Amanda Nunes.
That strategy backfired after Nunes TKO’d Rousey in under a minute, smashing her relentlessly with strikes that left Ronda battered and staggering confused across the Octagon. Nunes has been a trooper through all the ads neglecting to mention her name and Rousey’s unprecedented refusal to do any media at all. But in a post-victory interview with SportsCenter, Amanda finally threw some shade at her vanquished opponent.
“I’m an intelligent fighter, you know?” she said. “I want to evolve all the time. And when I see something that is wrong with my evolution, I try to make some changes, to my gym, to my coaches, around me, to see where is the mistakes. And I feel like she don’t know those things. She’s not a real fighter. She don’t know how to make changes in her game, so she’s not a real fighter.”
“I say let’s stop this Ronda Rousey nonsense. Because this card was everything about her. I’m the champion, and it was everything about her. I don’t understand why, you know? It’s supposed to be everything about the champion, about the best in the world. Why Ronda Rousey? She stop for a year? Didn’t come back when she had everything. This isn’t right.”
UFC president Dana White defended the UFC’s decision to focus almost exclusively on Ronda Rousey by saying if Nunes defeats Rousey, the world would know her then. We’re about to test that hypothesis out, but it wouldn’t have hurt them to push their women’s bantamweight champion a bit leading up to this huge fight. As if losing a fight in under a minute isn’t bad enough for Rousey, she’s also lost to someone the league didn’t bother to build up as a legitimate killer. The way everything turned out, the UFC didn’t do Amanda or Ronda or themselves any favors.