30 Dec 2016

Rousey has sights firmly set on UFC belt

10:02 am on 30 December 2016

Mixed martial arts superstar Ronda Rousey has just one thing on her mind when she makes her long-awaited return to the octagon on Saturday - avenging her only UFC defeat by winning back what she sees as "her" belt.

Ronda Rousey (L) and Amanda Nunes face off ahead of UFC title fight

Ronda Rousey (L) and Amanda Nunes face off ahead of UFC title fight Photo: Photosport

More than a year has passed since a stunning knockout by Holly Holm saw her lose the UFC title and Rousey, who has shunned the media for much of the last 12 months, now takes on current champion Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas.

"I don't care how this pay-per-view does. I don't care how much money I make. I don't care about interviews and I don't care how I look," the 29-year-old said in a brief video about the UFC 207 event posted by TMZ.

"All I care about is winning my belt back and that's it."

The most dominant female athlete in mixed martial arts and, alongside Irishman Conor McGregor, one of the most bankable stars in the UFC, Rousey's loss to Holm stunned the fight game and started a period of turbulence in the bantamweight division.

Having won the title in spectacular fashion, Holm lost it just as quickly as Miesha Tate caught her in a rear naked choke at the end of a bruising five-round battle in March to emerge with the belt.

Tate then fell at the first hurdle herself as Brazilian challenger Amanda Nunes swarmed all over her at UFC 200 in July before finishing the fight in the first round with the same choke Tate used to beat Holm.

Rousey has said that this will be one of the last times fans will see her in the octagon, and a defeat to the 28-year-old Nunes may well hasten the retirement of the 2008 Olympic judo bronze medallist.

- Reuters