One of the most anticipated fights of 2016 is set for this Friday, when Ronda Rousey returns to the octagon. The biggest female fighter of all time headlines UFC 207 in Las Vegas, looking to reclaim the women’s bantamweight title from Amanda Nunes.
It’s been nearly 14 months since Rousey’s last fight. The former unbeaten champion was stunned in a second-round knockout on Nov. 15, 2015, dropping her belt to Holly Holm at UFC 193. The title has since changed hands two more times, with the latest coming at UFC 200 on July 9 when Nunes needed less than four minutes to submit Miesha Tate.
Rousey enters Friday’s fight in an unfamiliar position. Usually the heavy favorite (Rousey had -2000 betting odds ahead of her fight with Holm), the UFC 207 main event is nearly a toss-up. It’s unknown how she will respond in her first ever bout following a loss, especially given her behavior in the build for the upcoming pay-per-view.
UFC 207 has nearly arrived, but there is still time to hustle to your nearest sportsbook and start betting on UFC 207.
Amanda Nunes is a top-shelf athlete who can do a lot of things extremely well. She is one of the biggest hitters in women’s MMA and likely the biggest single shot striker in the women’s bantamweight division. She’s explosive, powerful, and backs up that athleticism with a sneaky craft built to maximize her tools. She has excellent footwork when she’s focused on it, works at a high pace, and fires off sharp jabs and brutal low kicks at range. When she pressures forward, she finds good angles and she’s a dangerous pocket boxer. The sheer volume she throws means Nunes gets hit a fair bit, but she is a good defensive fighter and mitigates much of her opponent’s countering offense.
Rousey is a swarmer in the purest sense of the word. She rarely takes a step backwards, and if she does, that is not a good sign for her backers. Rousey is probably the best pure athlete in women’s MMA and her game is built around using her physicality to dominate her opponents. She comes forward aggressively, throwing heavy punches in combination. She’s not technical, but the brute force she possess is enough to get the job done against many if not most bantamweights, and if her punches don’t connect, she has usually bullied herself into the clinch anyway.
As of Thursday afternoon, various online sportsbooks in Las Vegas pegged “Rowdy” Ronda as a -140 favorite over Nunes. Conversely, the Brazilian champ is a slight underdog at +110. While the odds aren’t going to make anybody rich overnight because of how close the experts have handicapped the duel, a profit can be earned by laying money on Nunes.
A year ago, if bettors had seen Ronda Rousey on the board as a slight favorite, a mixed martial arts bout might have broken out in the sports book because of a race to the window. Times have changed.
Rousey, never less than a minus-500 favorite in seven previous UFC fights and only twice below minus-1,000, is minus-135 to defeat women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 207 on Friday. Here’s your chance to start betting on UFC 207, sign up now at HeritageSports.eu