Las Vegas, NV (CBS) — Over a year ago, Ronda Rousey was everywhere. Commercials, magazine covers, movies. Her fights superseded what was going on during NFL weekends, her name and brand reaching the sports mainstream media and beyond.
Then she lost and went into hiding and couldn’t be found anywhere.
Tonight, Rousey reemerges when she takes on UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, in UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena and if anyone thinks it’s going to be easy, they really need to think again.
For one, this is Rousey’s first fight back since former world champion boxer-turned mixed martial artist Holly Holm stopped Rousey in the second round of their fight in Melbourne, Australia, on Nov. 14, 2015.
Since then, Nunes, 13-4, has been riding a four-fight win streak, which includes stopping Miesha Tate, who had beaten Holm, at UFC 200 in July of this year.
Some say Rousey got too soft, both physically and mentally, when her brand crossed over. Others, like Tate herself, wonder if her heart is into fighting anymore.
One thing is for certain, Nunes is far sharper, far hungrier and in far more better shape mentally and physically entering this fight than Rousey is. At least that’s what the numbers spell out on paper.
Whether Rousey serves as another cautionary tale of success spoiling someone successful will be answered later Friday during what will be a very exciting New Year’s weekend in Las Vegas.
By the numbers: Ronda Rousey vs. Amanda Nunes
Rousey: No Title
Nunes: UFC Women Bantamweight Champion
Rousey: United States
Rousey: 5′ 6”
Nunes: 5′ 5”
Strikes Landed Per Minute
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute