Rousey Shunning Media, Nunes Responds

UPDATE (12/24): According to a series of tweets from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, Amanda Nunes, in response to Ronda Rousey’s absence from media week, will refuse to participate in the week building up to their fight at UFC 207.

UFC 207 is the last blockbuster card of 2016, but its main attraction has been strangely absent from the spotlight. Ronda Rousey, who fights for the first time since her stunning knockout loss to Holly Holm, is forgoing all traditional media responsibilities ahead of her fight with Amanda Nunes.

While Rousey has appeared on late-night shows like Ellen and Conan, she is reportedly not participating in any communication with the MMA media during fight week. That includes the pre-fight press conference on Wednesday.

Rousey’s opponent is current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, though you may not know it from the event’s marketing strategy: The television commercials for the fight are Rousey-centric to the point that Nunes is all but absent.

Though some have questioned the UFC’s total focus on Rousey at the expense of promoting Nunes, the champion is not letting such details impact her ahead of the fight.

“The UFC wants to make it easier for her,” Nunes said at a media luncheon. “So she doesn’t feel like she’s not the champion anymore. They want to make her feel like that, that she’s not the second [to me]. They want to make me kind of the second to make her get stronger or something. I feel like they tried … to promote her so she can be strong and see that. Like Ronda, Ronda Ronda, Ronda. But she knows she’s the challenger; I’m the champion. Nobody can change it. Nobody can make Ronda the champion. She’s not the champion anymore.”

Asked if she believed the UFC’s treatment is proof that they want Rousey to be victorious at UFC 207, Nunes has no illusions.

“The way it looks, yes,” she said. “But nothing is gonna change it. I will be a champion. UFC is gonna promote myself after this fight.”

Above all else, Nunes takes confidence in seeing the way Rousey is handling her comeback and refusal to put herself out there as much as she had in the past. She believes the UFC recognizes that the super-star Rousey does not have her usual confidence, and they are trying to help her out as much as they can.

“They see that,” Nunes said. “UFC sees that. That’s why they do that. Because she needs like a push so she can come back. But with me, nothing is gonna change. I really am gonna do the thing that I’m training for. And I’ve been ready for this moment. Videos, talk, nothing is gonna change the thing I’m gonna do that night.”

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