SEE HER FIGHT WHILE YOU STILL CAN
Never one to make an appearance without making news, Ronda Rousey slipped in a significant announcement regarding her future in UFC during this morning’s interview with Ellen Degeneres.
During the interview, Degeneres asked how much longer Rousey planned to continue fighting “because it’s a dangerous business.” Rousey responded casually, yet confidently. “Not that long,” he said. “I’m wrapping it up. This is definitely one of my last fights. So everyone better watch. The show isn’t going to be around forever.”
Rousey’s Dec. 30 fight will be her first in over 13 months, following a very active stretch in which she fought six times between December 2013 and the November 2015 fight with Holly Holm.
While she didn’t indicate exactly how many fights she had left in her, she didn’t try to imply that the Nunes fight would be her last either. A fight with Cris Cyborg at 140 or 145 lbs. has been said to be her next fight, although that could change should Rousey be Bantamweight Champion after UFC 207. One would also think that Rousey may want revenge against Holm, the only woman to beat her so far, before she retires.
Rousey was relaxed and humorous during the interview that also included discussion of Rousey’s new knitting hobby with actress Kat Dennings and her name being featured in the New York Times’ two page spread of people Donald Trump has insulted (“Not a nice person!”).
The segment also included an update on Rousey’s relationship with UFC heavyweight Travis Browne. “He’s amazing…he made me coffee!”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I’m not surprised that Rousey is looking past her fighting career as it was questionable whether we’d see her in a cage again at all. Even at her height, Rousey has always talked about having an end game. She’s likely made more than enough money than she’ll ever need and will be even better off after another big fight or two in the next year. The movie offers seemed to have slowed down after her loss last year, but if UFC 207 does well and Rousey recaptures the attention of mainstream audiences (she may have never lost it) those offers may start coming back, which will make it an easy decision for Rousey to walk away from fighting.
There are a lot of good fights left for Rousey. The Cyborg fight has been teased for years, but if Rousey looks bad against Nunes, I don’t like the idea of her fighting the much larger and stronger Cyborg. The Holm fight will be easy to make if Rousey loses, but tricky if she wins the title and Holm doesn’t pick up a win or two in the meantime. It’s not against precedent to make a big fight for a challenger coming off a loss, so the opportunity will still be there, just not under ideal circumstances.
A third fight with Miesha Tate is also an easy sell. Even though Rousey has beaten Tate twice, much of her fanbase wasn’t watching when they fought previously.
As for fresh match ups, I like the idea of Rousey vs. Julianna Pena whether Rousey beats Nunes or not. UFC will need new female stars in Rousey’s absence, and Pena has star potential and is a very good fighter who is championship calibre but has yet to breakthrough.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-UFC and Reebok will be featuring special New York-themed gear for UFC 205 fight week. The line includes t-shirts and hats that are much more stylized than the usual Reebok “fight kits” worn at events since July 2015. (SOURCE: MMA Fighting)
-AXS TV has announced a partnership with CES MMA for a multi-year deal including at least six events in 2017. “In a short period of time, CES MMA produced some of the most electrifying events on AXS TV FIGHTS and has become an integral part of our mission to showcase the best up and coming fighters in the world,” said AXS TV FIGHTS CEO Andrew Simon in press release sent to MMATorch today.
-Former UFC middleweight Kevin Casey has signed with Bellator. (SOURCE: MMA Fighting)
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND-UP
-Joe Soto is stepping in for the suspended Guido Cannetti to fight Marco Beltran this Saturday at the TUF Latin America Finale from Mexico City.
-Brett Johns vs. Kwon Ho Kwak at UFC Fight Night Berlin on Nov. 19.
-Pat Curran is injured and out of his Bellator 167 fight with John Teixeira. Justin Lawrence will take Curran’s place and Derek Campos vs. Patricky Freire is the new main event for the Dec. 3 show from Thackerville, Oklahoma.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 10/31: New insurance regulations in New York could drive out smaller groups (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)