It’s time for Ronda Rousey to retire, says UFC champion Amanda Nunes


Amanda Nunes had all the answers against Ronda Rousey before beating her by technical knockout in 48 seconds Friday night, and then the subject turned afterward to Rousey’s fighting future.

And Nunes was assertive again.

“That’s it for her. For sure, she’s going to retire,” Nunes said in her post-fight news conference. “She can’t take any more. If she wanted a rematch, it’d be the same thing.”

Nunes (14-4) pelted Rousey with punches before referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight as Rousey fell backward from a four-punch combination. The UFC bantamweight champion then proceeded to question the strategy of Rousey’s Glendale-based coach, Edmond Tarverdyan.


“He thinks she’s a boxer. He’s put that in her head. I don’t know why he did that,” Nunes said of Rousey, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo who repeatedly submitted foes by first-round armbars until trying to stand and strike against former pro boxing champion Holly Holm at UFC 193 on Nov. 15, 2015.

Rousey was knocked out by a head kick in that bout and did not fight again until Friday night in Las Vegas.

“She had great judo. She could do more in this division, but [Tarverdyan’s] done this crazy [strategy] with boxing, and it’s had her go down.”

An audio recording of Tarverdyan’s panicked instruction during the bout emerged by Saturday morning, casting more doubt over his future should Rousey decide to continue in the UFC.

“What she does [with Tarverdyan] is up to her,” UFC President Dana White said after meeting with Rousey for 40 minutes in her dressing room after the loss.

White characterized Rousey’s post-defeat mood as “down, but not as down as the Holm loss.”

And while Rousey maintained her media ban by leaving the arena without speaking to reporters, White said he will seek to have Rousey participate in a news conference about her future likely in January.


White said, “I think [Rousey] will,” return to fight in the UFC again.

One viable path in that strategy would be a rematch with Holm, who is fighting for the title in the newly created featherweight division. Rousey could also move up to the more comfortable weight to meet her.

Should featherweight Cris “Cyborg” Justino avoid a year-long suspension because of a recent positive test for a diuretic, she too could be an intriguing opponent.

Rousey issued a statement Saturday to ESPN, which said, “Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.

“I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future.”

White heaped praise on Nunes, who won the title in July by dominating Miesha Tate in the first round with 40 punches and a chokehold submission. Tate, who had won the belt by defeating Holm in her first title defense, soon retired.

“Miesha Tate told me, ‘[Nunes] hits so hard … there’s no way I would’ve tapped out in that fight, but I was so hurt by those hits,’” White said. “She retired Miesha.”

Nunes takes pride in how her training in Florida has sparked improved striking.

“I know nobody can take my punches,” she said. “When I started connecting with punches, I knew she appreciated [my power]. I saw it from the first punch. I wait for the right moment to connect my punches and the girls can’t take it.”

Nunes will probably next fight the Jan. 28 winner of No. 2-ranked Valentina Shevchenko, whom Nunes defeated by decision in March, vs. Julianna Pena.

While Rousey’s future is unclear, Nunes said she sought out the former champion in the octagon after the stoppage and said, “You did a lot for the sport. Thank you so much. But now you can take time, rest and maybe do something else.”

In the news conference, Nunes said, “Why should she keep doing that, keep hurting herself? She should retire.”

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