To close out 2016, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made her highly anticipated return to the Octagon as she fought UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 207. The fight served as Rousey’s first fight since losing the bantamweight strap to Holly Holm over a year prior at UFC 193, where she tasted defeat for the first time in her professional career.
The fight with Nunes was a short one, lasting only 48 seconds before the referee was forced to intervene and save Rousey from enduring more punishment at the hands of the champ. Following the loss, there was much speculation as to what would be next for Rousey. While some wanted to see the former champ return under the guidance of a different coach, others believed the sport had caught up to her, and that it was time for her to hang the gloves up for good.
WMMA pioneer Gina Carano offered Rousey advice in an interview, saying:
“Ronda should so whatever she wants to do, she’s only 29. She’s an amazing athlete, but she needs to express herself as an artist, too, so let her do what she wants to do.”
That didn’t sit too well with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who fired back at Carano in an interview on UFC Tonight:
“Gina Carano — who are you to tell Ronda Rousey what to do?” Cormier said on “UFC Tonight.” “If I’ve got to look back on your career and you choosing to act over fighting and continuing to fight, I don’t feel as though, guys — and you can disagree if you want — that the career has not been what it would have been if she stayed fighting.”
“Ronda, don’t listen to someone that I feel didn’t make the right choice,” Cormier said about Carano. “Do what I say and that means continuing to fight. It’s where you belong. It is where you belong Ronda Rousey.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/27/2017.