Ronda Rousey’s future in MMA is a big storyline heading into her fight against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion has said that her career in the Octagon is rapidly coming to a close. Some have speculated that Friday night’s title fight against champion Nunes will be her last bout.
UFC president Dana White addressed the issue Thursday on ESPN. He thinks this could be Rousey’s swan song if she doesn’t beat Nunes to regain the belt.
“I think if Ronda wins, we will see her again,” White said. “If she loses, I don’t know.”
Win or lose, Rousey has already cemented what she has done for the sport, the UFC boss said. White allowed women into the UFC due to Rousey’s potential stardom and it has worked out. Now the promotion has three women’s weight divisions, including an inaugural 145-pound title, which is coming early in 2017.
Rousey, 29, ran roughshod over the women’s bantamweight division for three years, finishing most opponents in a manner of seconds with her trademark armbar submission.
“She’s very competitive, so if she loses I’ll have to see how this thing plays out, but her legacy?” White said. “I mean, she held the title, she was the most dominant female ever. And if you look at since she lost, every time there’s been a fight the belt has been handed over. So, on Friday night she has the opportunity to come back, get her belt back and cement her legacy.”
Rousey lost the belt by second-round knockout to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November 2015. She has not fought since and has mostly been under the radar. Rousey didn’t participate in any media activities this week in Las Vegas.
While she was gone, Holm dropped the belt to Miesha Tate at UFC 196 in March. Tate then fell to Nunes by first-round submission at UFC 200 in July. Nunes looked incredible in that fight and White said she has a chance to make her own star turn against Rousey.
“If she wins on Friday night, everybody will know who she is and she’ll have the opportunity to defend it and build her own legacy,” Nunes said.