Leading up to UFC 207 on December 30th, where former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made her highly anticipated return to the Octagon over a year after suffering the first defeat of her career at the hands of Holly Holm at UFC 193, where she lost the women’s bantamweight championship.
Leading up to her highly anticipated return at UFC 207, there were many questions regarding how Rousey would look after taking a lengthy period away from the Octagon, and away from the media spotlight. The former champ caught quite a bit of criticism leading up to the fight for her media blackout, as she was exempt from media appearances leading up to, and throughout, fight week. Subsequently, UFC President Dana White was forced to defend Ronda Rousey from critics who pointed out that just several months prior, UFC superstar Conor McGregor was pulled from his UFC 200 scrap with Nate Diaz for refusing to fulfill his media obligations for the event.
Ultimately, when Rousey stepped into the Octagon with Amanda Nunes at UFC 207, it took just 48 seconds for Nunes to TKO Rousey and retain the UFC women’s bantamweight championship.
In the wake of Rousey’s loss, former bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who handed Rousey her first career loss, spoke to MMAFighting to give her thoughts on the fight, and Rousey’s media blackout, saying:
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“I was a little worried about her mental game getting in there,” Holm told MMA Fighting in a UFC 208 pre-fight interview. “I know a lot of people said ‘no MMA media, none of that’, because she didn’t want any distractions. Well, I really hate to do all of it, but guess what, that’s what comes with the fight, and if I didn’t do it, I don’t even think I would be ready for the fight.”
“If you can’t even talk about it, if you can’t even be doing the normal thing leading up, I don’t think you’re really ready to get in there and actually fight. If you can’t really talk about it, how are you gonna get in and perform on it?”
“I’m kind of a believer in that. I feel like you have to be able to kind of face it, and sometimes I think if you’re trying to ignore those facts, I feel like the focus really isn’t there. So I was kind of worried if she gets in, is she really gonna be ready to just go, when she hasn’t really had to talk about it or face it or really get into it in that way.”