Ronda Rousey returns to the UFC Cage for the first time in 13 months Friday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. Rousey is easily the most popular fighter in recent UFC and MMA history and she hopes this fight will eliminate all foul memories of her shocking upset loss in November 2015 to Holy Holm, a woman who hasn’t won a fight since taking the title from the Rowdy One.
Standing in the way of a successful comeback fight for Rousey is current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. A woman who dismantled Rouseys longtime rival and former champ Miesha Tate un under four minutes at UFC 200.
Nunes is 13-4 in her MMA career but has recently sprung into the limelight after winning the championship. She is no stranger to finishing her opponents quickly and violently. Of her 13 victories, 12 of them have come by either TKO or Knockout. When she wins, she doesn’t mess around and doesn’t leave any doubt. Either does Rousey for that matter, all 12 of her victories have come by submission or KO, and 11 of the 12 have come in the first round.
Ronda Rousey truly is the Mike Tyson version of Women’s MMA, but will she turn out the same way? For the sake of MMA, let’s hope not, as Rousey is a cash cow and simply great for the sport. She needs this win as bad as the UFC needs her to win. We will get our answer Friday night in Vegas.
There will be a second bantamweight title on the line that night as well when the mens champion Dominick Cruz defends against the unbeaten 10-0 No Love Cody Garbrandt. While Cruz has beaten a who’s who of MMA in both Wec and UFC, the resume of Garbrandt isn’t as polished, just yet, that could change with a win over Cruz.
Cruz hasn’t lost a bout since 2007, he is currently on a 11 fight winning streak and it doesn’t look close to be ended. However, Garbrandt is no joke and holds iron in his fists. Did he learn anything from watching such men as TJ Dillishaw and Uriah Faber lose to Cruz recently, or will he be unable to solve the same puzzle they couldn’t?
Speaking of Dillishaw, he has demanded and deserves a rematch with Cruz for the Bantamweight championship, a belt he lost to him about a year ago. It will be hard to argue with Dillishaw if he can get by his opponent at UFC 207, John Lineker. A man who has struggled to make weight throughout his career, despite holding impressive wins over John Dodson, Ian McCall and Larry Vargas.
Here are my official predictions of the top 6 fights on what will be a loaded card.
Johnny Hendricks returns to his winning ways with a 2nd round KO over Neil Magny
Louis Smolka over Ray Borge by decision
Dong Hyun Kim over Tarec Saffiedine by decision
TJ Dillashaw over John Lineker by Knockout in the 3rd round
Dominic Cruz continues his dominance of Team Alpha Male with a 4th round submission over Cody Garbrandt
Ronda Rousey reclaims her title and legacy with a 1rst round arm bar submission win over Amanda Nunes.