Back when Ronda Rousey was on her Total UFC Domination Tour, circa 2013 to 2015, she was almost considered too good. She dispatched her opponents with such efficiency that some wondered whether the world was interested in seeing fights that rarely lasted more than a minute. But she quickly gained a reputation as the Mike Tyson of women’s MMA, and people loved speculating on how long it would take for her to dismantle and submit her opponent. Up until her loss to Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey had only left the first round once, in a rematch against her nemesis Miesha Tate.
That fast and furious approach to fighting was reflected in the insane odds laid down by bookies for her fights. Where a typical betting line for a fight would see the favorite and underdog separated by 200 to 300 points, Ronda Rousey would typically sit as a -1000 favorite to her +700 opponents. Against the +680 Bethe Correia she was -1975. Against the +450 Holly Holm, she was -1650.
So it may or may not be somewhat of a shock to learn that Rousey’s odds have suddenly returned back to earth after Holm knocked her block off last November. Ronda is set to return to the octagon on December 30th to face current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, and the odds have Ronda Rousey a -200 favorite against the +160 underdog Nunes. For those looking to make more than a nickel off of betting on Ronda, this may be the best chance you’ll ever get. But it may also be a serious warning sign that something is seriously off leading up to Ronda’s return fight.
Vegas oddsmakers are typically pretty logical folks. Their lines may move and bubble a bit when it comes to popular fighters whose rabid fanbases affects the odds with heavy betting, but for the most part you can rely on the line giving you a pretty realistic idea of a fighter’s chances in the cage. So what has brought Ronda Rousey from nearly -2000 to -200?
We’d say it’s a couple of things. Amanda Nunes has knockout power, and that’s probably concerning a lot of people following Rousey’s KO loss to Holly Holm. There’s a lot of questions surrounding Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan, who has been accused of running talent like Travis Browne and Jake Ellenburger into the ground. And then there’s Rousey’s perceived loss of interest in fighting. She’s been gone for nearly a year and has specifically shunned the MMA world. UFC president Dana White announced her return yesterday, yet still Rousey remains silent online and in the real world. This makes people wonder whether her head is still in the game.
One thing is for sure: it just makes her return to the cage all that more intriguing. Ronda Rousey pulled in a lot of eyes when she was known as the invincible destroyer. We expect she’ll draw even more as she tries to prove to the world that she’s still got what it takes to stand atop the mixed martial arts world.