At UFC 207 Amanda Nunes will defend her UFC Womens Bantamweight title for the first time, and against Ronda Rousey no less. But will the merry go-round with the title continue in Vegas on December 30th?
For the first time that this writer at least can remember, a UFC title has not been successfully defended for a year.
It all started last November when Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey, in what was possibly the biggest upset of the year, when everyone was looking at a possible Rousey vs Cyborg fight, because no one thought the champ could be beat.
Up steps Holly Holm, who knocked the defending champ out in the second round, a fight that Rousey tried to beat a strong kickboxer at her own game, by standing the fight up……..and lost. This as it turns out would be Rousey’s last fight for over a year.
When it turned out that Rousey would be taking some time off, new champ Holm would need an opponent, and that honor fell to fan favourite Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate. And lets be honest after seeing Holm dominate Rousey no one gave Tate a chance, and just expected Holm to defend her title.
But Cupcake had other ideas. For at UFC 196 the stage was set, Holm vs Tate, could Holm carry on the form that helped her defeat at the time the most dominant female fighter in UFC history. Going into the 5th and final round, a fight that could be argued Holm was winning on points, but as everyone knows, don’t leave the decision in the hands of the judges, and that’s exactly what Tate done. She took the decision away from the judges, by sinking in a tight Rear Naked Choke, the champ tried to flip her off, but Tate wasn’t letting go, and for the second title fight in a row we had a new champ.
So surely this was it, Miesha had been a thorn in Rousey’s side for years, always there to try and end her reign of dominance, but never able to win, but now Miesha had her belt, and surely she wasn’t letting it go.
There was talk of a Tate vs Rousey match with the title on the line, which could have completed a trifecta of championship bouts. But it wasn’t to happen, and as we know now, we will never see again. No, Tate wouldn’t defend her title against Rousey, but would defend her title at the ‘show of the year’ UFC 200.
Up steps Amanda Nunes, who had won her previous 3 bouts, and after beating Valentina Shevchenko, earned her shot at the top. After a crazy Thursday night during fight week, and it wasn’t Eddie Alvarez beating Rafael Dos Anjos that got the headlines, Tate vs Nunes was set to be the main event at THE PPV of the year.
Because Tate had been at the top in Strikeforce, and always being top 3 in the rankings since coming over to the UFC, Nunes came into the bout as an underdog. But that didn’t stop her laying a beating on the defending champ, and walking out of UFC 200 as the new UFC Womens Bantamweight Champion.
This brings us back to UFC 207! Rousey will make her comeback, and gets an automatic title shot. yes there have been some complaints, but Rousey deserves her rematch, and there isn’t really anyone at the time that you could say deserves a shot. Now there is the argument that after Raquel ‘Rocky’ Pennington could have deserved a shot after beating Tate at the recent New York card. Even at a push Cat Zingano, who holds a win over Nunes, but it’s the last PPV of the year, and the UFC need a pull.
I think it was Matt Hughes that said:
“anyone can win a belt, but you are only the champ once you successfully defend it!”
With that thought in mind, its another reason Rousey deserves this shot, as by that thinking she was the last Bantamweight champ, and Holm, Tate and Nunes have only won the belt.
But the question will be, will the merry go-round continue, and will Rousey reclaim her gold, or will Nunes be the first person since Ronda to successfully defend the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title.
I personally think this form of a new champion after every defense will end with Nunes, and Ronda has stated that she only wants to fight a couple more times, I can see Nunes picking up the win, and Rousey following Tate’s decision to retire.
A move that probably wouldn’t surprise anyone, and could usher in a new era for the women’s division.