Jon Anik weighs in on the Ronda Rousey return rumors (Video)

UFC commentator Jon Anik gives his take on a potential Ronda Rousey return to the Octagon
December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at
December 30, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey fights against Amanda Nunes during UFC 207 at / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the legends of MMA have been in the headlines for various reasons during this UFC International Fight Week. Jon Jones squashed his beef with Israel Adesanya and now has his bout with Stipe Miocic. Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler had an altercation on The Ultimate Fighter and their fight is still being worked on. And, of course, several big names like Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Then there's Ronda Rousey...and a surprising rumor she might be on her way back?

Earlier this week, reports began to surface that the inaugural UFC women's bantamweight champion may be looking at a potential return to the MMA promotion at the expiration of her current deal with the WWE.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (via Cole Shelton of has stated that Rousey has informed WWE of a "hard out" date. Rousey, who has been with WWE for two different stints since January 2018 following her departure from the UFC, is expected to be written out of programming following her match with fellow MMA fighter-turned-wrestler Shayna Baszler at WWE SummerSlam next month.

Of course, if Rousey comes back, it comes convinently at a time where there is no UFC women's bantamweight champion following the retirement of Amanda Nunes. Nunes slaughtered Rousey in less than a minute at UFC 207 in December 2016 — Rousey's last MMA fight to date.

Jon Anik has mixed feelings about Ronda Rousey getting a title shot immediately upon a potential return to MMA

The title vacancy at 135 has left fans and pundits alike to discuss and debate potential matchups to fill the void. As of UFC 290, the top-four contenders in the division are Julianna Pena, Raquel Pennington, Holly Holm and Ketlen Vieira. Pena is assumed to be involved in the title fight thanks to her December 2021 upset of Nunes.

Of course, the possibility of a Rousey return shakes things up. UFC commentator Jon Anik has previously discussed that chance, though he has mixed feelings about the idea. It would not be the first time we've seen someone earn a UFC title shot coming out of retirement; in fact, Henry Cejudo received a bantamweight title fight against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288 a couple of months ago — almost exactly three years to the date he retired from the sport.

While at the Red Carpet for the UFC Hall of Fame, Anik reiterated his feelings.

"I would encourage it in some part, but I would also be hypocritical if I said to you she should come back and fight for the title just because of this Amanda Nunes vacancy," Anik said. "In the past, I have said aloud I didn't love that Henry Cejudo got to come back and cut the entire line of all these bantamweight contenders that had been in the gauntlet, that had been in the USADA pool for three years. I like meritocracy, and there are definitely worthwhile contenders — Raquel Pennington and Julianna Pena chief among them.

"So, as a mixed martial arts fan, I get a little bit uneasy when someone comes back having not competed and just cuts the line. But if anyone deserves to cut the line, it's probably Ronda."

Rousey was the first UFC women's bantamweight champion, coming over from Strikeforce following the promotion's folding. Rousey held the title until her upset loss to Holm at UFC 193.

Next. What does bantamweight mean?. dark

UFC 290 takes place on Saturday, July 8, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on site, for all your live news and highlights.

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