The upcoming UFC 207 fight card has been built around former bantamweight champion turned movie star Ronda Rousey’s return to the octagon, but fans and media won’t hear from her leading up to the fight Friday against current champion Amanda Nunes.
Unlike other big UFC events, neither Nunes nor Rousey will appear in any fight week news conference or open workout. However, they will go before the cameras for the weigh-ins on Thursday.
The charismatic 29-year-old Rousey has been mostly mum since the announcement of her return after her brutal loss to Holly Holm in November 2015, the first defeat of her superstar MMA career.
Since the announcement in mid-October, fans have had to make do with a few pictures of her training posted on her Instagram account.
She did speak with Ellen DeGeneres last month, when she explained how the lead-up to the big fight can be mentally exhausting.
“It’s the weeks and weeks of buildup beforehand,” she told the TV host. “You know you’re going to fight this one person, and it’s like your showdown, and the most important thing in your whole life, and then millions of people are watching.”
“If it just happened right now I wouldn’t be nervous at all,” she said.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Nunes exuded confidence in an interview this week with FoxNews.com.
“She knows she has to be ready,” the Brazilian champ said. “She is a smart girl, she knows this is a great fight because the fans want to see her back.”
“I think she’s ready [but] I can’t say much about that,” said Nunes, who trains in South Florida for the American Top Team.
She said she understands the hype behind Rousey’s return but isn’t fazed by all the attention given to the challenger — instead of the champion.
“They (UFC) give her more hype but I am OK with it,” she told FoxNews.com. “The belt is in my house and I am the champion. It’s what matters to me: to be the champion.”
Nunes (13-4 MMA) earned the title in July after defeating Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in Las Vegas.
For her part, Rousey (12-1 MMA) was the first woman to headline a UFC pay-per-view alongside Liz Carmouche back in 2013. Since her astonishing loss to Holm she has taken on Hollywood appearing in such films as “Furious 7,” which is part of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, “The Expendables 3” and other films.
She has hinted her fight Friday could be one of her lasts.
“If she retires, I think she’ll do the right thing,” Nunes told FoxNews.com. “She has everything she wants already. She has the money and she’s doing movies. I don’t think she needs anything else because she won’t have this belt anymore.”