Ronda Rousey will make her return to the Octagon on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas. She will challenge Amanda Nunes for the women’s bantamweight championship at UFC 207. It will be Rousey's first fight in 412 days, the longest layoff of her five-year MMA career.
Throughout her career, Rousey has used her judo skills to set up her trademark armbar submissions. Nine of Rousey's 12 victories have come by armbar, including in the first eight fights of her career. She is tied for the UFC record for most submission wins by armbar, with three, along with Jeremy Horn and Gilbert Burns. Getting the fight to the ground will be no easy task against Nunes, who has stopped 73 percent of takedowns in her UFC/Strikeforce career, according to FightMetric.
Nunes' submission of choice is the rear-naked choke. All three of her submission wins, including her championship victory over Miesha Tate at UFC 200, came via the rear-naked choke. In her UFC career, Rousey has been in only a submission hold, which she escaped in her UFC debut against Liz Carmouche.
The striking part of this fight looks to favor the champion. Nunes has finished nine of her 13 wins by knockout but none of her past three fights. The key to victory for Nunes will be to win the significant striking battle. In her six UFC wins, Nunes has outlanded her opponents 145-38 in significant strikes. In five of the victories, opponents landed fewer than five significant strikes.
In her UFC 193 title loss to Holly Holm, Rousey absorbed a career-high 38 significant strikes. It was the only fight in which she has been out-landed. Nunes has the slight advantage in strikes landed per minute (4.2 to 4.0).
Nunes is attempting to become the second woman in the bantamweight division to make at least one title defense, joining Rousey, who made six from 2012-2015. Since the start of 2015, there have been more title changes in the women's bantamweight division (three) than in any other division in the UFC. Nunes and Rousey both have six wins in the division, tied for the most in UFC history.
For those interested in the betting aspect of this fight, keep an eye on the over/under for rounds. In 11 of Rousey's 12 wins, "Rowdy" finished her opponent in the first round. Nunes is a quick finisher as well, with the Tate victory marking the 10th time "The Lioness" has won in the first round.
Rousey's average UFC fight time of 3 minutes, 25 seconds is the second-shortest fight time among fighters with at least five fights in UFC history. Nunes ranks eighth on that same list at 5 minutes, 47 seconds. According to MMAOddsBreaker.com, the over/under has been set at 1.5 rounds, with the under opening at -275 and the over at +195. Rousey will open as a -280 betting favorite, the lowest odds she has had as a favorite in her UFC/Strikeforce career, while the champion Nunes opens as a +220 underdog.