December 30th at UFC 207 Ronda Rousey made her hugely anticipated return to the octagon after suffering a knockout loss to Holly Holm back in November 2015, the first loss of her entire MMA career. The fight was being set up to be her triumphant return, with the billing being “Fear The Return”. Unfortunately it didn’t go to plan, as she once again lost in devastating fashion, this time to Amanda Nunes in a mere 48 seconds via TKO.
Prior to the fight, Rousey’s weight-management coach Mike Dolce was asked about the possibility of her moving up to 145lbs to fight Cris Cyborg. Dolce immediately shot down the possibility of the superfight, revealing that Rousey’s ideal weight class would be the 125lbs flyweight division.
“Why would Ronda, who walks around in the off-season at a healthy (148 to 152 pounds), why would she look to give such advantages to an athlete that walks around at 175 pounds?” he said. “No male on the planet would do such a thing, and I think it’s disrespectful and a double-standard for the public to assume Ronda should.”
“As Ronda’s weight-management coach, I see Ronda being a 125-pound athlete, if that weight class existed,” he said. “Based on her current body weight, and how compliant she’s been to her lifestyle, Ronda can make 125 pounds. That might be where the most exciting matchups would actually take place. Can you imagine Ronda versus (UFC women’s strawweight champion) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who’s always talked about moving up to 125?”
Of course Cris Cyborg, as well as Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm are all physically stronger than Ronda Rousey. Perhaps a move down to a smaller weight class is exactly what Rousey needs in order to relaunch her MMA career and return to dominant form. Rousey is unlikely to face anyone with the power of either Holm or Nunes at this weight class, and it would most likely see her return to dominance, allowing her to get her confidence back. The UFC could relaunch Ronda Rousey and her MMA career as the baddest woman on the planet at 125lbs.
If what Dolce is saying is true, perhaps Rousey has been in the wrong weight division for quite some time now.
There is no shame in competing at a lower weight class and admitting you wouldn’t fair as well competing in a higher division. Conor McGregor competed at 145lbs and more recently moved to 155lbs. He faced one of the bigger 155lb’ers in Nate Diaz, meeting him at 170lbs. For the first time in his UFC career we seen him struggle, losing to him via a rear-naked-choke, whilst in the rematch which he won via majority decision, he was far from his usual dominant self.
More recently McGregor faced Eddie Alvarez who was smaller than Diaz, defeating him with ease in the first round. After the fight he fully acknowledged the fact he could and has struggled against bigger opponents “There not on my level. You got to have size, reach, length, you got to have some attributes. If you come in anywhere equal to me, I’m going to rip your head of.”
Holly Holm, is coming off two losses and will be challenging Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC 145lb featherweight belt at UFC 208 on February 11th, 2017. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe the UFC would be willing to offer Rousey an immediate championship fight in the 125lb flyweight division, if they were to create it. Fans may complain about it, but at the end of the day UFC is a business and wants to make money. Plus, what a way to introduce the 125lb belt and make it a premier division with Rousey beginning it. Rousey could have a run in the division, and retire with her head held high, once again paving the way in Women’s MMA, this time for the flyweights.
There is potential for some huge superfights for Rousey at this weight class. UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzjedczk has previously said she wants the UFC to introduce a 125lb belt so she can become a two weight division champion. Paige VanZant has previously revealed she would only fight Rousey at 125lbs. The current Invicta FC champion and number one flyweight in the world, Jennifer Maia had a fantastic 2016, how would she fair against the “Rowdy” one? Another dark horse in this division is 21-year-old Agnieszka Niedzwiedz from Poland, she’s currently undefeated with a 9-0-0 record and has been rising through the rankings rapidly over the past 12 months. Niedzwiedz’s primary weapon is her Judo, she revealed to us in a recent interview “What I do like most is to take the fight to the ground and use my elbows to finish the fight or look for a submission. I have a Judo background and I feel very comfortable in the clinch.” Judo VS Judo would certainly be a very intriguing match-up. The possibilities are endless for Rousey at this weight class.
Click HERE to view the 125lb flyweight rankings.
What do you think? Would you like to see the UFC introduce the 125lb flyweight division for Ronda Rousey? And if so, who would you like to see her face? Let us know in the comments below.