Amanda Nunes believes Ronda Rousey's "ego" had a major part to play during her 48-second knockout when the duo faced off for the bantamweight title at UFC 207 in Las Vegas on 30 December.
Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) longest reigning bantamweight women's champion was making a comeback after over a year on the sidelines following her first career loss against Holly Holm, but her return lasted less than a minute as Nunes punched her out of contention.
Rousey, a Judo bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, is not known for her striking abilities, but still chose to stand toe-to-toe with the Brazilian, who is known for her striking abilities. Nunes admitted that she knew the fight was over as soon as she saw Rousey's strategy despite the reigning champion landing the first blow.
"I think it was ego. I knew she was gonna try to strike with me and I think that was the completely wrong strategy to fight a girl like me..." Nunes told Fox 11 Los Angeles.
"When I landed I saw, in that moment I saw in her eyes she was done. That [first punch] was the moment that I saw something. Like scared; scared if I connect the other hand because it was the jab."
However, the reigning women's bantamweight champion offered words of encouragement to her UFC 207 opponent and believes she can make a comeback. Nunes has advised Rousey to make changes in her coaching team, as she believes her coach Edmond Tarverdyan was one of the main reasons for her loss because he encouraged the California-born fighter to box rather than stick to her strengths.
"I already passed this moment in my career. It's harder to lose but if you be strong, you'll be able to come back like I did," Nunes said, referring to her past setbacks against Cat Zingano during her UFC debut and Ana Maria India in her first ever fight as an MMA athlete.
"Make some changes, adjust. The passion in her life, the family has to be with her. The base is very important. Make some changes in her camp, move to another gym and come back strong," the women's bantamweight champion added.