Many are expecting UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes’ first title to come against Ronda Rousey late this year or early next, but the big question sits on the state of Rousey in the wake of her year-long hiatus from the sport.
Rousey’s arch-rival Miesha Tate thinks the result of that bout is determined by whether or not Rousey is fully into the sport still, or if she is just making a return because she feels like she has to.
“I feel like there’s so many weird variables, it’s really, really hard to say, because who knows what we’re going to get out of Ronda when she comes back,” Tate said on The MMA Hour (transcription via MMA Fighting). “If we’re getting Ronda at the best that she’s ever been, then I’d say Ronda (would win the fight). But if we’re getting Ronda coming back with a half-ass mentality, kind of like ‘I just feel like I have to do this one time,’ and then she’s got a lot of ring rust and maybe she’s still punch-shy since she hasn’t fought since Holly, and we all saw that obviously Amanda has incredible power with her right hand — so if she hits Ronda with one of those, I could see it being a huge problem for Ronda. A big, big problem.
“So it’s kind of hard to say, honestly. I really just don’t know what we’re going to get with Ronda. I know what we’re going to get with Amanda. I just have no idea what we’re going to get with Ronda.”
Tate got firsthand experience with Nunes’ fighting abilities at UFC 200 when she was dominated and submitted in Round 1, losing the title she had captured from Holly Holm at UFC 196.