As we reported six months ago, rumors have been swirling about the possible return of Ronda Rousey to the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The former UFC champion, hailed as one of the greatest fighters in the sport's history, made her last appearance in 2016.
Rousey was defeated in the first round by Amanda Nunes, after which she stepped away from the UFC cage, presumably for good. Now, nearly seven years later, speculation about Rousey's return is reaching fever pitch. The retirement of Amanda Nunes, a stellar Brazilian fighter, could provide one explanation for the buzz.
Nunes bowed out of the sport earlier this year, leaving the bantamweight and featherweight titles up for grabs. Rousey, who throughout her career competed in the bantamweight division, might be in line to take over one of these coveted spots.
Saving the Featherweight Division?
The UFC may turn to Rousey as a savior of the featherweight division, which has been on the brink of shutting down due to lack of organized rankings. The women's featherweight division was even removed from the rankings after Nunes's retirement, potentially paving the way for Rousey to step in as the new face.
Though the UFC and Rousey have yet to make an official statement on the matter, fighter Chelsea Chandler let slip some intriguing details at a recent UFC press conference. “I’ve been hearing Ronda is coming back,” Chandler revealed. “I’ve heard she’s coming back at 145.
You never know”. Chandler, a formidable 29-year-old fighter herself, offered a tantalizing prospect: “If I got out there and put on the performance I plan on putting (on), I’ll welcome her to 145. I think it would be a great fight”.
A Hint of Insider Information?
Chelsea Chandler could also be one of the main faces of the UFC's featherweight division. She is slated to fight Norma Durmont this weekend, and there's speculation that the winner of this match might go on to face Ronda Rousey.
But how reliable are Chandler's sources? It's unclear if her information came from media speculation or legitimate insider knowledge.
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