Nunes makes quick work of Rousey in Ronda's return
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) - After more than a yearlong absence, UFC star Ronda Rousey returned to the octagon, and she did it right here in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.
Rousey lost by technical knockout 48 seconds into the first round of her UFC women's bantamweight title fight against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 Friday.
Rousey, a fan favorite, remained quite private ahead of the fight.
It was part of her strategy: limited media and fan appearances, so she could fully focus on reclaiming the title she lost in such devastating fashion.
It was at UFC 193 in November 2015 where Holly Holm delivered a crushing kick to Rousey's head, knocking her out in the second round.
The dominant, intimidating, Olympic bronze medalist in judo had been exposed and later admitted thoughts of suicide to Ellen DeGeneres.
"I was literally sitting there, like, thinking about killing myself," Rousey told DeGeneres. "At that exact second I'm like, 'I'm nothing.'"
The loss kept Rousey out of the cage and out of the public eye for more than a year.
In that time, the women's bantamweight title changed hands twice.
To get it back, Rousey had to beat champion Nunes at UFC 207.
"I think everybody knows that Ronda is psychotically competitive," said UFC President Dana White.
For her return, White said Rousey had some conditions of her own, like doing no fight-week media.
"Back in the day, Ronda would literally do anything we asked her to do, anything, and if the guys wouldn't do something, she would pick up the ball and do it herself, so for her to ask for something like this, how can I say no to that?" asked White.
It was a promotion fueled by mystery and by the hope of some that she'd return as the Rousey of old.
"She's huge already," said UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who lost to Cody Garbrandt in the co-main event of UFC 207. "She is the face of women's mixed martial arts. You can't word it any other way. People want to see how she comes back."
"The Rousey I like to see is the one that's not scared to fight standing, but knows to take it to the ground," said recently retired UFC fighter Urijah Faber.