Well not exactly, but she can. Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey folded quite quickly in just 13-seconds to be exact, after getting tagged repeatedly with left and right hand bombs from now current champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes in the main event of UFC 207. It was Rousey’s first fight back in the Octagon after a humiliating loss to Holly Holm nearly a year before.
The problem is, Rousey appeared to not have improved her striking at all. Fans and observers believe Rousey just failed to train properly. They even placed heavy blame on Rousey’s head coach Edmond Tarverdyan.
Pennington Says Sparring Partners Weren’t Allowed to Punch Ronda Rousey
However, fellow female fighter Raquel “Rocky” Pennington recently revealed that she was one of Rousey’s sparring partners. Pennington said that during sparring, she and other sparring partners were forbidden to hit Rousey at all. She would not reveal more than that however, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
Julianna Pena, who competes tonight at UFC on Fox 23 recently chimed in on a recent edition of the UFC Unfiltered Podcast. Pena, practically spills the beans on some pretty sensitive information.
“I’m mostly trying to have some banter at Holly. But at the same time you have got to giver her credit for being able to implement the gameplan against Ronda. And that’s to keep her away at a distance and punch her in the face because she don’t like that. And she’s not allowed to get hit in sparring,” mouthed off Pena.
“These girls have to sign these waivers to say that ‘We never hit Ronda, and we’ll never talk about this type of training ever and all this stuff, you know? She’s not really taking the toll in the fight camp of getting punched in the face legitimately so she doesn’t really know what that feels like, Pena added.
Although there is no way to prove that what Pena says is true, it does at the very least make a lot of sense. Rousey is of course, one of the biggest stars in the world — not just in MMA, but in pop culture too.
WATCH: Julianna Pena Talks Rousey Ability To Sue Sparring Partners
“I just think it’s one of those things where you’ve gotta protect the fighter and make sure she doesn’t get hurt before the fight,” said Pena.
“She’s a superstar and they don’t want to see her get any damage. So, it’s like whenever the girls would go hard on her, whenever they’d come forward and start banging it out on her, they’d tell them: ‘Hey. Knock it off. Stop it. Don’t hit her so hard and then sign this waiver and say that you were never here and that you never punched her. Don’t ever talk about how well you did in training and stuff like that because you have to sign this dotted line or else we’ll sue you for a million dollars.'”
So will Rousey take advantage of this opportunity and sue sparring partners like Pennington who potentially breached contract? She is certainly capable of it. But doing so may bring more harm to her career than good, if she decides to proceed.