In the aftermath of UFC 207, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes pulled no punches when talking about her fallen foe Ronda Rousey. Nunes, who had been quiet and genial in the week leading up to the bout, unloaded on Rousey and her camp after the fight, shushing head coach Edmund Tarverdyan, telling the fans to “stop with this Ronda Rousey nonsense,” and telling Joe Rogan she knew she would “beat the s**t out of Ronda Rousey.” Then, in other interviews afterwards, Nunes questioned Rousey’s coaching and dedication to fighting and recommended she retire from the sport. It was out of character for the normally reserved and respectful champion and even she knew it.
Though it’s been several weeks since the statements were made and there’s been no major public outcry about Nunes’ comments, the champion still felt compelled to apologize for what she said and on Tuesday, Nunes took to Instagram to issue a public apology to Rousey for her actions after their fight. The Instagram post cited an excess of adrenaline and emotion that brought about the comments and in a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal Nunes explained why she felt the need to apologize.
“The apology was because the words that I said. I think it was a little bit too much because I was very upset, very mad because how I was promoted [for] the whole thing. I was the champion and I didn’t have the credit I was supposed to have. I feel like everything was about her,” Nunes said.
As the second-biggest star in the history of the sport, Rousey’s return was the No. 1 story heading into UFC 207 and Nunes was considered mostly an afterthought. This was all exacerbated when Rousey declared a media blackout ahead of the event, causing the conversation to focus on Rousey’s treatment and mentality heading into the fight, with Nunes only being tangential to the entire thing. Nunes says this single-minded focus by the media left her feeling angry and disrespected, which caused her to boil over after the fight was finally over.
“I never fight mad before. That was the only fight that they made me fight mad, upset, and hurt. They hurt me and after the fight I can’t control myself. I say bad words and I know I have a lot of kids that night, a lot of people that didn’t want to hear that bad speech. But I was so upset and so hurt, I can’t hold myself [back]. That’s why I decided to post that after a couple days, a couple weeks after the fight because I was better now. I can hear everything, all the things, and I’ve calm down more but I was very upset with the whole thing.”
But as the adage goes, time heals all wounds. Now that Nunes has had some time to cool off and celebrate her win (as well as the win of her girlfriend Nina Ansaroff just a few weeks ago at UFC Fight Night 103) Nunes is all smiles. It probably also helps that the champion has received a substantial bump since knocking off Rousey, making the media rounds all over and even being in Houston this week for the Super Bowl. That’s the kind of boost you get when you obliterate the woman who Business Insider named “the most dominant athlete alive” just a few years ago.
“For sure. Ronda Rousey was huge. We know what Ronda Rousey did for this sport, especially for women’s MMA. I know everything. I respect her for that. But I was the champion. I’m supposed to have credit a well. That’s why we have the belt. That’s why the UFC has the belt. Who’s the best? You have the belt. I was the best. Now everybody is gonna respect and treat me better and I think I deserve it.”
Nunes doesn’t have time to rest on her laurels though, the champion will next have to defend her belt against the toughest test of her career, number one contender Valentina Shevchenko. Shevchenko and Nunes have fought before with Nunes winning a very close decision. Since then, Shevchenko has one back to back fights over top contenders, a dominant decision over former champion Holly Holm in July and a second-round armbar of second-ranked Julianna Pena last week.
Nunes and Shevchenko will likely be rematching later this year, but the champion says this time won’t be nearly as close as their first encounter.
“I think she’s pretty tough opponent. She did very good, I think she did good work against Julianna Pena, but I know Julianna got caught. I know it’s not a move - nobody expected it. I think even Julianna Pena didn’t expect that because she knows Valentina Shevchenko’s a striker. But she made the mistake, she don’t believe it that much, and she got caught. I think Valentina Shevchenko’s a hard opponent but I beat her already and I will beat her again. This time I will finish her.”
Crack. Valentina Shevchenko says she felt Julianna Pena’s arm “crack” three times.
The MMA Beat.
Kenny and DC sumo.
We gotta stop mascot violence.
Chael talking about boxing promoters.
When @danawhite said at NY post-fight that I could wait for next shot or fight,I believed I had done enough to earn a TS and I had an option— Demian Maia (@demianmaia) February 2, 2017
The next @UFC WW title fight is only a month away. I don't understand what's the controversy. Is have made a full statement on my Facebook.— Demian Maia (@demianmaia) February 2, 2017
.@CubSwanson Anyone, anytime, anyplace...This was me from my first day and till my last. Shut your mouth and lets settle this in the cage!— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) February 2, 2017
If the UFC can't find me an opponent that makes more sense then I'd love too :) Just go sit by your phone and wait @RusHammerMMA— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) February 2, 2017
Or just spend the time coming up with a new fight name I got more Russian fans then you @RusHammerMMA— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) February 2, 2017
look at that guy Floyd is choking, he is HUGE< is he almost as big as the Nate Diaz https://t.co/ECIsAwORlF— superCalo (@superCalo) February 2, 2017
Masvidal has options.
Liz Carmouche can bench press 265lbs three times. She's 145lbs. #AmericanHero— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) February 2, 2017
Werdum looks like he’s enjoying himself with Kadyrov.
Thiago Tavares (20-7-1) vs. Mauricio Machado (17-10); Aspera FC 49, Feb. 18.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2007: Pride stars Quinton Jackson and Mirko Cro Cop made their UFC debuts at UFC 67 defeating Marvin Eastman and Eddie Sanchez respectively. This event was headlined by Anderson Silva submitting Travis Lutter in what was supposed to be a title defense but Lutter missed weight. Also at UFC 67, Lyoto Machida made his UFC debut, winning a decision over Sam Hoger.
Enjoy the fights this weekend and see y’all Monday.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.