Rousey returns to face champion Nunes at UFC 207

The Ultimate Fighting Championship ends the year with arguably the most anticipated bout of the year as current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes defends the title against former champion Ronda Rousey.  UFC 207 takes place December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, NV with one undercard fight webstreamed at UFC Fight Pass, four broadcast on Fox Sports 1, and a five-fight main card broadcast as a PPV.

Perhaps unfairly almost all the attention is on Ronda Rousey, understandable since she broke the division into the big time.  Due to the UFC carrying over the Strikeforce title Rousey entered the Octagon the holder of the belt which she defended six times.  Holly Holm was the one to finally wrest the title from Rousey’s grasp in November 2015 in what was still awarded the “Fight of the Night” bonus.  Since then however Holm has been semi-retired concentrating on her film career as Holm lost the belt to Miesha Tate (whom Rousey defeated) and Tate in turn lost it to Amanda Nunes.  A former Olympic Gold Medalist judoka Rousey now holds a MMA record of 12-1.  13-4 Nunes is 6-1 in the UFC with her only loss being a TKO from Cat Zingano in September 2014.  Since then Nunes defeated Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, Valentina Shevchenko, and for the title Miesha Tate with the Tate win being a rear-naked choke in July.

The men’s bantamweight title is also on the line with Dominick Cruz making the second defense of his second term with the belt.  Cruz like Rousey entered the UFC a carry-over champion with his being from WEC.  Cruz defended the belt against Urijah Faber and Demetrius Johnson before lingering injuries forced him to vacate the belt in 2013.  After almost three years off Cruz returned to defeat Takeya Mizugaki which earned a “Performance of the Night” but it was another thirteen months before he again returned.  In January of this year Cruz won the title back with a split decision over T.J. Dillashaw and defended against Faber in June leaving his record 22-1, his only loss being to Faber in WEC.  #5 ranked Cody Garbrandt enters this bout undefeated at 10-0, 5-0 in the UFC.  So far this year Garbrandt fought three times with victories over Augusto Mendes, Thomas Almeida, and most recently Takeya Mizugaki with the Almeida KO earning “Performance of the Night”.

Prelims at UFC Fight Pass

  • WW: Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means

Prelims on Fox Sports 1

  • WW: Brandon Thatch vs. Niko Price
  • MW: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Marvin Vettori
  • WW: Mike Pyle vs. Alex Garcia
  • 5: Johny Hendricks vs. Neil Magny

Main Card

  • 5: Louis Smolka vs. Ray Borg
  • WW: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tarec Saffiedine
  • BW: T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker
  • BW title: Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt
  • WBW title: Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey