Nunes blasts Rousey out in the first round at UFC 207
MANILA, Philippines (2ND UPDATE) - Amanda Nunes needed just 48 seconds to derail Ronda Rousey's comeback bid, retaining her UFC women's bantamweight championship on Friday, December 30 (Saturday Manila time) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, casting doubt over Rousey's future as a fighter.
Nunes' superior striking made the difference, just as it did in Rousey's last fight, a second round knockout loss against Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November of 2015. Few knew what to expect from Rousey in her first fight in over a year as she made no media commitments in the build-up to the fight.
From the opening moments Nunes decided to test Rousey, who refused to bump fists to begin the fight. Rousey never got started out of the gates, seemingly shell-shocked by Nunes' aggression and unable to cope. Rousey was hit by 3 heavy right hands which wobbled her and left her defenseless. Just as the fight was starting, Rousey had to be rescued by Herb Dean from serious injury.
Nunes (14-4, 10 KOs, 3 SUB, 1 DEC) of Salvador, Brazil won the title in July by making Miesha Tate submit in the first round and has won her last 5 fights since being stopped by Cat Zingano at UFC 178 in 2014.
Despite fighting on the biggest stage of her career, Nunes says she was ready for the moment.
"When I asked for this fight I know everything. I prepare in my mind, my spirit and body for this moment. I know Ronda Rousey is bigger. I know they love Ronda Rousey. But no one is taking this belt from me," said Nunes, who closed as a +150 underdog at the MGM Sports Book while Rousey was favored at -180.
Rousey's stature as a mainstream star saw her rewarded with a $3 million paycheck for the fight while Nunes was guaranteed just $100,000 for the fight but earned another $100,000 bonus for winning. Both will reportedly earn an undisclosed portion of pay-per-view revenue as well.
Nunes acknowledged Rousey's contributions as a pioneer for women's mixed martial arts but said that Rousey's time had past.
"Forget about Ronda Rousey. She's going to do movies now and retire," she said of the 29-year-old from California, according to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.
"I knew I was going to beat the shit out of Ronda Rousey like that. Now I proved to everyone that I'm the best in the world." – Rappler.com