After getting bushwhacked by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes in just 48 seconds at UFC 207, rumors began to swirl that Ronda Rousey didn't spar leading up to the fight. After all, the transcendent mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar had suffered a beating at the hands of Holly Holm at UFC 193 one year prior and presumably never recovered. However, according to bantamweight contender Raquel Pennington during a recent interview with ESPN, she signed a non-disclosure agreement to spar with Rousey for UFC 207, proving that "Rowdy" did mix it up before getting punched in the face by "Lioness."
"I can't really talk about how sparring went or what we did. Ronda asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I did," said Pennington. "All I can say is the fact I was able to put in work with her and that it was solid work. I can't say too much more than that."
This is all well and good, but we still don't know for sure how hard Rousey went in sparring sessions. Pennington is a tough girl and can throw bombs with the best of them, but did Rousey and head coach Edmond Tarverdyan really open the floodgates following such a defeat at UFC 193?
It seems unlikely. The first punch of many that Nunes landed at UFC 207 sent Rousey back in time. The nightmare of Holm head kicking her into the Australian stars sparked unavoidable disaster. Until we figure out exactly how Rousey prepared for her UFC return, we can obviously assume it wasn't enough.