- Jon Anik thinks now is a great time for Ronda Rousey to make her UFC return
- The UFC commentator is not sold on the idea that “Rowdy” will be favored by many to beat the current top bantamweights in a title fight
UFC commentator Jon Anik is not totally convinced that the majority of the fans will favor Ronda Rousey if ever she wound up making a return and jumping straight to title contention.
Ronda will be Competitive
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Anik candidly said now is the perfect time for Rousey to make a UFC return. He also expects “Rowdy” to be highly competitive should the UFC decide to make her the other half in the fight for the vacant women’s bantamweight title. However, Anik also thinks it would still be a bit unfair for the bantamweights who have been working hard to reach the top.
“In a true meritocracy, that’s not gonna sit well with me nor the athletes that have been donating blood, sweat, and tears to mixed martial arts over the last several years,” Anik said. “If anyone is worthy of that opportunity, it’s probably Ronda Rousey, and I do believe she would be competitive because she would not enter that setting without the guarantee that she would be competitive but I didn’t like that Henry Cejudo came back and cut the line of a bunch of 35ers that have been active. So it would be hypocritical of me to sit her and say, ‘Absolutely! Let’s elevate Ronda Rousey and have her return.’ But if there were a time jet, it would be absolutely now,” Anik explained.
The division is not Weak
Anik also pointed out that while Rousey’s return would surely generate buzz, it wouldn’t be a shock if some fans won’t see her as a betting favorite over the likes of Julianna Pena and Raquel Pennington. For Anik, Rousey’s resume speaks for itself but the current women’s bantamweight division also has a couple of deserving title contenders.
“I’m not going to sit here and suggest she’d be a betting favorite against Julianna Pena nor Raquel Pennington but I can understand why people would be excited at the possibility but in a true meritocracy, I do think that’s a little bit of a tough sell because even though we can’t settle on two obvious bantamweight contenders right now, it’s not as though there aren’t worthy title challengers right? There are four or five women who I think are deserving right now and unfortunately, one of them is not Ronda Rousey, but we’ll see,” Anik added.
Rousey held the UFC women’s bantamweight title from 2012-2015 and at one point, was widely regarded as the greatest female MMA fighter of all time. She left the UFC in 2016 after losing to Amanda Nunes via first-round TKO at UFC 207. After leaving the UFC, Rousey found a new lease on life in pro wrestling.
As is stands, the UFC has yet to make an announcement about who would compete for the vacant women’s bantamweight title but Erin Blanchfield already made her pitch to face Pena.