Leading up to the highly anticipated return of Ronda Rousey to close out 2016, many were questioning whether fight fans would see a different Rousey than they did in her UFC 193 loss to Holly Holm. While the expectations were that Rousey would return to the Octagon with improved striking, when she stepped into the Octagon with Amanda Nunes at UFC 207, it didn’t take long for Rousey to show fight fans that her striking game had not developed enough to compete with an elite level striker like Nunes. Just 48 seconds into the fight, referee Herb Dean was forced to stop the bout due to Rousey being out on her feet.
In the days following the fight, former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen spoke on his podcast, ‘You’re Welcome’ to discuss Rousey’s training, and how it likely played a role in her loss:
“What are we going to do differently in the gym? Are we going to spar more? I don’t need to see (Ronda Rousey) hit one of those goddamn mitts,” Sonnen said on his You’re Welcome podcast. “I’m so sick of seeing her hit mitts, and do sit ups on the side.
“It’s very fun, and it’s what boxercise is. It’s a great workout if you’re looking to lose weight and stay in shape. If you’re looking to go into combat, you need a person standing in front of you.
“It’s a good supplement workout. It’s like crossfit. It’s like running. That’s a great supplemental low impact workout. But that’s what it is. You don’t train on the mitts, you workout on the mitts” he said. “We’ve got to stop on all of that. It’s a workout. It’s a warm up!”
While many called for Rousey to retire following the loss to Nunes, Sonnen believes that the former champ could still fight in the UFC, even if it isn’t as a champion:
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“I get it. I’ll concede that the title chances are over. But as far as the marketing, and the opportunities, and going back out there and being one of the gals as one of the top 10 — which is a very meaningful thing — those days aren’t over, if she’s in the gym.
“I’m saying she’s got a place. It isn’t at the top, but it is still very high. Let’s get her a different opponent.”