For as much as UFC 207 has been all about the return of Ronda Rousey, leaving current women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes out in the cold promotion wise, "Rowdy" has been rather absent with the mixed martial arts (MMA) media, failing to do her part to hype the fight. And it's no accident -- Rousey apparently demanded it be that way prior to signing on the dotted line to face "Leoa" on Dec. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That’s according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, who was one of the select few media members who have had access to Rousey during her media blackout.
"In April 2015, the sport made headlines when another of its stars, McGregor, refused to attend a news conference. White responded by pulling him from the UFC 200 card. Rousey watched it unfold from afar. When she saw McGregor a month later, at a Bud Light commercial taping in Las Vegas, she pulled him aside and offered some advice. 'Instead of trying to handle everything at once, while it's coming at you, just trying to reach an agreement beforehand,' she told him. Rousey did the same when she negotiated her terms for UFC 207. She would limit her publicity to a few high-profile interviews with people of her choosing, a day of filming at the gym in Glendale and a staredown with Nunes at UFC 205, a bout that McGregor would headline in New York in November."
That was apparent last week, when Rousey wasn’t present at a media luncheon to promote the upcoming pay-per-view (PPV) event, which was also minus Nunes, who was feeling under the weather at the time. But, we all saw this coming a month before, as Rousey made a brief appearance at the UFC 205 weigh-ins to staredown Amanda, only to storm off stage immediately after. Even Dana White admitted Rousey wasn’t supposed to speak, he just wanted her to stick around for a few more photos.
As White declared a few months ago, the root of Ronda’s bitterness toward reporters is because she felt "attacked" by the media, which turned on her after her loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 last year. Thankfully, UFC 207 co-headliners Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt have been doing enough trash-talking and promoting their Bantamweight title fight. But, does Rousey refusing to speak to MMA media ahead of the year-end PPV event hurt UFC’s -- and her -- bottomline?
Then again, it’s not like she cares about the money.