Saturday 24 August 2019

'I don't think she'll fight again' - Jose Aldo believes Ronda Rousey will quit UFC after TKO

Holly Holm of the US (R) lands a kick to the neck to knock out compatriot Ronda Rousey and win the UFC title fight in Melbourne
Holly Holm of the US (R) lands a kick to the neck to knock out compatriot Ronda Rousey and win the UFC title fight in Melbourne

Jack de Menezes

Ronda Rousey will not return to the UFC Octagon, says featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

Rousey suffered the first defeat of her UFC career after being knocked out by fellow American Holly Holm in devastating circumstances at UFC 193 last weekend.

The former women’s UFC bantamweight champion has vowed to return to the Octagon already, although any rematch has been put on hold after Rousey was placed under a six-month medical suspension due to the injuries she suffered in the Melbourne bout.

The 28-year-old was due to take time away from the UFC regardless of the result from Sunday’s encounter as she is the lead actress in Mile 2, which will be filmed in the coming months, but UFC champion Aldo believes that her flourishing film career and brutal defeat might be the catalyst for Rousey’s UFC retirement – even if she’s capable of regaining the women’s bantamweight title.

"I think it’s really hard for her to return to fighting," said Aldo, who takes on Ireland’s Conor McGregor at UFC 194 next month. "Her career has taken a different direction. If I’m making a lot of money doing movies or something else, I’d go that direction too. Am I going to mess my face up getting punched in the face? You’re crazy. In my opinion, I don’t think [she fights again].

“If she comes back, of course she can [win the title]. She was always a fighter, but if I were her, I wouldn’t come back.”

The Brazilian went on to reveal that while he respects women’s mixed martial arts [MMA], he does not believe it is on the level yet of where the men’s sport is. Aldo explained that the impact of different styles and techniques in the women’s side would be as decisive in men’s MMA because each fighter now has to be well-rounded in their approach, both on the floor and standing.

"It’s normal. There are wins and losses," Aldo said. "Holm was a multiple-time champion in boxing and was able to do her thing standing, and I knew Holm would win if she kept it standing.

"Ronda is a great champion, I respect her, but I think men’s [MMA] is at a higher level. [Male] athletes aren’t separated by one martial art only, like ‘I’m a judoka and I only catch arms’. There’s no such thing as this one who survives. Athletes have to be good standing and on the ground today. You have to be good wherever the fight goes and that’s how I try to be. I like to watch women’s MMA more than men fighting because they always do their best and fight hard."

However, Aldo admitted that even if Rousey called it a day and never graced the Octagon again, she has already contributed more than enough to MMA and has secured her legacy for taking the female game to an unprecedented level.

"I think the legacy Ronda leaves behind is that she changed women’s MMA," Aldo added. "She put it where no one ever imagined, where even Dana White [UFC president] said it would never be, and it is now. That’s her legacy. She has done a lot for women’s sport."

Aldo is preparing for his own UFC championship showdown in the rearranged bout with Irishman McGregor, who remains undefeated and has been vocal in his belief that he will take the featherweight title away from the long-time champion. The pair meet at UFC 194 on 12 December at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, in a match rearranged from their scheduled meeting at UFC 189 earlier this year.

Independent News Service

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