We are now mere hours away from the long awaited return of MMA superstar Ronda Rousey. The former women’s bantamweight champion will return in the main event of tonight’s UFC 207, where she will challenge the division’s reigning queen, Amanda Nunes.
In advance of this fight, many members of the MMA community have made predictions as to how this anticipated bantamweight title showdown will go. Two of the latest to do so were Bellator light heavyweight Chael Sonnen and UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez.
For Sonnen, this fight will come down to Rousey’s headspace:
“Ronda needs to get her to the floor,” Sonnen said. “Not because physically that’s her best position, but because psychologically, when a fighter is knocked out, they’re never the same. Now to explain that to you, that doesn’t mean they physically lose their skills. That means mentally, they’re afraid to step into the fire. They’re afraid to get into that range, and exchange. They’re worried about what happened before and they’re having memories of that. If Ronda can get in, to get to the clinch range, it shows that she’s not afraid to come through the hands of Amanda that are so scary for so many people, the knees, the feet the elbow. If Ronda can get into that range and make it her kind of fight, it shows psychologically – and that’s what the media and her fellow competitors have questioned, her mindset – it’ll show that her mindset is that of a champion and that she’s back to her old self.”
If Rousey’s head is in the right place, Sonnen thinks she’ll come out on top.
“I’m trusting that Ronda has done what she’s told us she’s done,” he explained. “She’s put the time in the gym. Ronda Rousey reclaims the world championship.”
Melendez offered a similar take on Rousey’s return. If her mental game is on point, he expects her to reclaim the title she once guarded so ferociously.
“Well, I think that it’s 50/50, but I’m leaning towards Ronda,” he said. “And again, I’m with Chael on this. I’m questioning her focus and her mental toughness at this point. But if she can get through the first few punches, get relaxed in there, she’ll be able to get the takedown and she’ll be victorious.”
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