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Great Debate: Rousey vs Nunes

On Friday night, Amanda Nunes (#1) will be defending her Women’s Bantamweight Championship against Ronda Rousey (#2). It will be Rousey’s first fight since her loss to Holly Holm, over a calendar year ago. Amanda Nunes will be defending her title for the first time since winning it from Miesha Tate. Our very own Zak Katine and Keith Shillan stand on opposite sides of the fence in their prediction of who will win. They give their reasoning below.

Why Amanda Nunes wins:

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Written by Zak Katine

Ronda Rousey, once upon a time ago, was the most feared female on the planet. She tore through her competition until she met her Kryptonite. She met someone who was patient, could match her strength, and could keep the fight standing. We all know what happened…. Holly Holm destroyed Rousey. She didn’t just beat her, but knocked her out cold and stole that mystical aura that seemed like she was unbeatable.

That fight wasn’t just a lucky one shot KO, no, it showed all of Rousey’s flaws. If you’re patient and don’t rush in, you can pick her apart on the feet. If you can stop Rousey’s throws and stay off the mat, she will get flustered and chase you down. This is where a good striker can capitalize. Now, it’s easier said than done. Holly Holm was the only person to do it, that is, until Friday the 30th.

Amanda Nunes is a KILLER. Great boxing, great ju-jitsu, big, strong, comes from a Judo background and she knows how to finish. The only flaw in Amanda’s game is her gas tank. I don’t believe she can really push pace more than 2 full rounds without starting to fade by the third. However, I don’t believe Rousey has a great gas tank either, as she was gasping for air in the Holm fight. She has only been to third round once. All of Rousey’s wins have come against women who either got bullied, because Rousey was the bigger stronger opponent, or they fell into that Venus fly trap and were too aggressive, getting thrown on their heads.

Amanda is very aggressive, but it’s a controlled aggression. She doesn’t just rush into things. She may not be an Olympic judo competitor but she does have a brown belt which will help her with Ronda’s throws. If it does go down to the mat, she is a legit BJJ black belt. Her standup is much better than Ronda’s, so if this stays on the feet, which I think it will, we’re going to see something like the Holm fight; Nunes just hitting Ronda with bombs till she gets the finish. The X factor in this fight is Ronda’s emotional stability. I don’t think she has any and after coming off a huge loss. Can she recover? I don’t believe so. Amanda Nunes TKOs Rousey in the first round.

Why Ronda Rousey wins:

Written by Keith Shillan

Rewind to February 28th, 2015. I was driving the Ronda Rousey bandwagon. It was completely full, with a line of people waiting to get on. She beat Cat Zingano in 14 seconds. The same Zingano who beat Amanda Nunes. People were talking about Ronda Rousey fighting men. People were calling her the most dominant athlete in the world and saying she was a once in a lifetime fighter.

Fast forward to today. There is plenty of room on the bandwagon. Suddenly, after Rousey loses one fight, everyone finds holes in her game. She can’t strike, she is too emotional, she has no heart, she is a fake, etc.

I honestly think Amanda Nunes will be the best fighter Rousey has ever faced, including Holly Holm, who beat Rousey. She is a great athlete with explosive power. She has good takedowns and a fierce top game. However, she does have flaws. She is a good striker, but not the technical sensation that Holly Holm is. She doesn’t use length like Holm does. She doesn’t mix in kicks like Holm does. She doesn’t have the footwork and the ability to work angles like Holm does. She also does not have a very good gas tank. She was destroying Cat Zingano before gassing out in the 3rd round and got beat. In her fight against Valentina Shevchenko, she came out like a bull and easily won the first two rounds, and lost the 3rd round bad. The deeper the fight goes, the advantage goes to Rousey, who looks to be in the best shape of her career.

One of Nunes best weapons is the takedown and stellar ground game. However, I don’t think she wants to take Rousey down and take the chance of being armbarred. I think that the only way Nunes wins is landing a big shot early. I don’t expect that to happen. If she gets too aggressive, Rousey can get in the clinch and get a takedown.  I think this is the key. Nunes may tag Rousey on the feet a few times, but if she gets too aggressive, Rousey will get the clinch.

I predict Rousey gets the clinch and either gets a trip or a throw. Once the fight hits the ground, a scramble occurs and Rousey catches the armbar on the BJJ black belt. Better get back on the bandwagon now, because there will be a mad rush come early Saturday Night. The Queen is back! Rousey by 1st round submission. 

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