Her undefeated streak, where she viciously finished all her opponents, came to an end when she fought professional boxing legend-turned-MMA star Holly Holm at UFC 193 on November 15th, 2015. Rousey was on the receiving end of Holm’s counter-strikes throughout the fight and could not get Holm to the ground long enough to submit the boxing great.
Holm’s kickboxing prowess also came into play, as she ended the fight with a thunderous head kick. Holm landed the kick in round two, and the fight was waved off after a few follow-up ground strikes.
The fact that the seemingly invincible ruler of MMA, Ronda Rousey, was so ruthlessly dethroned by Holly Holm sent shockwaves across the combat sports world. Holm would eventually lose her title to Miesha Tate via fifth-round submission, and Tate then lost the title to Amanda Nunes via first-round submission.
The world awaited Ronda Rousey’s return to the octagon, and Rousey, on her part, worked tremendously hard to train for a UFC women’s bantamweight title fight against Amanda Nunes.
Ronda Rousey's last fight: When was UFC 207?
The UFC 207 fight card was headlined by Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey, with Nunes’ UFC women’s bantamweight title on the line. The buildup to the event was unique. Rousey chose to focus solely on her training and preparation for the fight instead of spending too much time in the promotional work with interviews and public appearances.
The UFC understandably gave Rousey the requisite respect when she refused to spend time talking to the media to promote the fight, as she had been the most hardworking spokesperson for the UFC and MMA in general ever since she first broke through as a star in Strikeforce. UFC 207 took place on December 30th, 2016.
UFC 207 ended with a brilliant co-main event and Ronda Rousey suffering her second consecutive MMA loss
I vividly remember covering the aftermath of this fight a few days after the dust had settled. It was an undeniably strange event, and I’ll explain why.
Agent Smith finally beat Neo in the co-main event of UFC 207. But that fight, as high-profile and essential as it may have been, was just a blip on the radar as compared to UFC 207’s main event matchup.
None of the card's fights mattered as much as the return of the queen of MMA did. However, the comeback didn't go as the Rowdy one's fans had expected. Ronda Rousey had lost again - and it was even more emphatic than her loss to Holm.
The fight between Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey lasted only 48 seconds. Nunes shucked away Rousey's attempts to get the clinch and takedown. Nunes strictly kept the war on the feet and attacked Rousey with precise boxing. She secured a first-round TKO victory over Rousey who appeared to be out on her feet when the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey and her 'Rowdy Redemption'
There’s a couple of quotes that are very relevant to our discussion that I would be remiss not to add here. The first one is from the ancient Indian philosopher and military strategist Chanakya:
“Where you are not respected inhabit not that country, You cannot earn, have friends and get knowledge truly.”
The second quote I would like to draw your attention to is from Italian diplomat, philosopher, and writer Niccolo Machiavelli:
“Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.”
The tsunami of hate and vitriol that was directed at Ronda Rousey in the aftermath of her back-to-back defeats would have been more than enough to break even the toughest warriors in the history of fighting.
But just when her critics thought the Rowdy star had burned out and would disappear into oblivion, she played a masterstroke by leaving the place where she wasn’t respected.
Like Chanakya’s quote suggests, Rousey benefited from leaving the place where she wasn’t being given the respect she deserved. She went on to transition from MMA to the sport of professional wrestling, sports-entertainment to be specific, and achieved tremendous success in the WWE.
Furthermore, Ronda Rousey’s move to the WWE also shows how true Machiavelli’s quote rings. It was her love for professional wrestling and fear of wasting her time in an industry that doesn’t give her the respect she deserves, that made her move on from MMA to professional wrestling-based entertainment in the WWE.
UFC 207 didn’t go the way Ronda Rousey wanted it to, but her redemption was successful as she went on to compete in one of the biggest sports-entertainment organizations in the world, the WWE.
She’s expected to return to the WWE in the near future. But if Ronda Rousey ever decides to return to the sport of MMA and set forth on a quest to reclaim UFC gold, regardless of which weight class she chooses, I will still stick to what I said merely days after her UFC 207 fight.
The 5 Steps to the redemption of Ronda Rousey are still as true as ice on the Himalayas. As a longtime fan of the Rowdy one, here’s hoping that she returns to MMA – be it for a one-off fight or a serious run at a UFC title – if not for the millions of dollars she would receive, then to simply add another chapter to her legacy as one of the fight game’s true legends.