Last November, in the main event of UFC 193, then women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was knocked out by a Holly Holm head-kick in one of the biggest upsets in the history of our sport. She has not returned to the cage since.
That will soon change, of course, as Rousey is scheduled to take on reigning women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 207 on December 30. While this is undeniably exciting news for fans, however, many people have been questioning Rousey’s headspace leading into this fight.
UFC Hall of Famer and former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is one of these people, as he explained in a recent interview with TMZ.
“It’s going to be an interesting fight to see where her head’s at,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what she’s going to come back with.”
Liddell also explained that, if he were Rousey’s coach, he would have tried to get her a tuneup fight, rather than pitting her against Nunes right away.
“Personally, as a coach, I would have liked to have her come back [to a smaller fight]. It’s hard at her stature to come back to a smaller fight. I would have got her a warmup fight, just to get mentally back into the game because Amanda Nunes is a tough, tough opponent.”
“She’s a tough opponent, but if you want to come back, that’s the one to come back to and show you’re back. But the thing that worries me is a guy like [Jose] Aldo gets knocked out by [Conor McGregor], and he wanted to fight that day, he wanted another shot at it that day. That’s a fighter that’s got it together [mentally]. ‘I made a mistake, I know what I did, I want to win now.’ She folded, I don’t know what happened to her.”
“I don’t know where she is mentally,” he said. “I haven’t talked to her, I haven’t seen her, I haven’t been around her camp at all. I’m not inside news on this. But personally, all the stuff afterward, and the way she handled it and the way things were, personally, I’d be nervous. Very nervous.”
Do you share Chuck Liddell’s concerns heading into UFC 207? Sound off, PENN Nation!