Friday, December 30, 2016

Nunes TKO's Rousey

Ronda Rousey is one of the biggest superstars in MMA history and turned into a crossover celebrity over the past few years. She made her reputation with dominant performances inside the cage, finishing opponent after opponent in extremely short order. Then Holly Holm came along. Last November, Holm shattered Rousey's aura of invincibility, her title run and her undefeated record. Rousey entered into seclusion and has largely avoided the public and the media since. Now she returns to recapture her title with questions abound about her mental state following the shocking upset loss. Nunes is a powerful striker and high quality jiu jitsu artist who tends to do better earlier in fights than later. She won the title with a dominant stoppage of Miesha Tate at UFC 200. This is far and away the biggest fight of her career and it's hard to imagine there will ever be another contender.

Round 1. Nunes throws some big punches early and connects well to the jaw of Rousey. She hurt Rousey with punches and has her in big trouble by the cage. Nunes is pummeling Rousey and Herb Dean has to step in. That was a one sided destruction.

Winner: Amanda Nunes, TKO, round 1.

The time of the stoppage came at 48 seconds. Most of that time involved Rousey getting punched in the face. Rousey leaves the Octagon after the defeat without saying anything. This has been such a strange and interesting path for Rousey. She rose to prominence in dominant fashion but clearly struggled greatly with her first MMA defeat just like she did when she lost in the Olympics. There are so many different angles as to why this fight went the way it did but regardless of whether it was about the style matchup, preparation, psychology or something else it was emphatic, violent and short. It seems unlikely Rousey will fight again given the options she has but it will take time to sort out the story of Ronda Rousey in general. Her fall as an athlete, just like her rise, was spectacular.

***

Champion Nunes earns $100,000, Rousey gets $3 million.

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