UFC 207: Shredded and mean, Ronda Rousey makes comeback tonight

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes faces off with Ronda Rousey after UFC 205 Weigh-ins in preparation for their UFC 207 fight that will take place on December 30, 2016 at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Ronda Rousey hasn’t fought in over a year, but judging by her look at Thursday’s weigh in for tonight’s UFC 207, she spent the last 13 months locked in the gym.

A ripped and focused Rousey made one of her few appearances prior to her Women’s Bantamweight title fight with champion Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, no words exchanged. Nunes appeared wearing a lion mask, Rousey’s intense eyes would have scared the mane off any king of the jungle.

Rousey has largely been out of public view. One of her few appearances, on The Ellen DeGeneres show, Rousey said her fighting career was “wrapping up” and fans should watch her now while they can.

  • Rousey is a -175 favorite according to Bovada, Nunes is +145. Fan and media sentiment online has been behind Nunes. She's improved vastly in the last year while Rousey has been out after losing her undefeated record and title to Holly Holm. She hasn't lost since 2014 and beat former champ Miesha Tate 3:16 into the first round with a rear-naked choke at UFC 200. She beat Valentina Schevchenko by unanimous decision at UFC 196 in March, only Schvchenko's second career loss.
  • Besides her return to fighting, the major story surrounding Rousey has been her lack of promotion for the fight. Outside of filming a commercial for UFC, she made no promotional appearances and made few public appearances since losing to Holm in November 2015. She’s been on the movie set (she’s starring in a remake of 80s action flick “Road House”). A similar situation occurred at UFC 200 when Conor McGregor didn’t participate in promotion, and didn’t fly to Las Vegas for the a pre-fight commercial shoot. McGregor was eventually pulled from the card by UFC President Dana White as punishment. Fight analysts are interested in the number of buys for the PPV to see if Rousey’s lack of promotion had an effect.
  • The co-main event is Men’s Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz defending against Cody Garbrandt. Cruz is 22-1, his only loss in 2007 in WEC by submission to Urijah Faber. Cody Garbrandt is undefeated at 10-0 and won nine of his fights by knock out or TKO. Garbrandt is UFC’s No. 5 Bantamweight. Cruz is a heavy favorite.
  • Another great Bantamweight fight, No. 1 contender T.J. Dillashaw takes on No. 2 John Lineker, winner most likely facing Cruz. Lineker is a striker while Dillashaw a ground and pounder. Other fights on the main card: South Korean Welterweight Dong Hyun Kim (21-3-1) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (16-5) of Belgium. Flyweights Louis Smolka (11-2) and Ray “Tazmanian Devil” Borg open the PPV at 10 p.m. Four fights will air on FS1 during prelims starting at 8 p.m. One fight is available on UFC Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m.