The waiting is finally over. Ronda Rousey will make her highly anticipated return on Friday evening at UFC 207.
It was a Thursday filled full of madness in Las Vegas as both weigh-in ceremonies produced no end of drama.
Earlier in the day, Rousey was the first fighter to hit the scales at the early morning weigh-ins. Rousey weighed in just minutes after the weigh-in window started at 09:00am local time in Las Vegas.
The former UFC bantamweight champion had her weight read at bang on the 135lbs weight limit and then exited the stage straightaway. Rousey failed to pause for the customary five second press shots in what was her latest act of defiance after refusing to do any of her media obligations throughout fight week.
If the drama from Rousey wasn’t enough to get people talking, what followed was just pure craziness.
Shortly after Rousey’s weigh-in, co-main fighter Cody Garbrandt weighed in at 135lbs with use of the towel.
Rousey’s opponent Amanda Nunes followed Garbrandt as the next fighter to weigh in, but as she was undressing, shouting and scuffling could be heard from behind the curtain and in the hallway adjacent to the weigh-in room.
Security bolted out the nearest doors as the shouting continued and Nunes stepped on the scales at 135lbs herself to confirm the title fight on Rousey for Friday night.
No footage is yet to surface from what happened outside of the room, but reporter Brett Okamoto of ESPN stated that there was a brief confrontation between UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Jeremy Stephens, his opponent Cody Garbrandt’s teammate.
After order had been restored, Cruz then weighed in at 135lbs to also confirm his title fight with Garbrandt for the co-main event of the evening on Friday.
But don’t worry, the craziness wasn’t finished yet. With barely 30-minutes remaining in the two hour weigh-in window, the last two fighters, Johny Hendricks and Ray Borg, joined the party.
Hendricks, with his hands over his eyes, had his weight read at 173.5lbs, 2.5lbs over the welterweight limit.
This was Hendricks’ second time missing weight, though he had also previously failed to weigh-in one other time when he was scheduled to face Tyron Woodley in 2015, but pulled out just 24-hours out citing illness.
Borg was the last man on the scales and he came in 3.5lbs over the flyweight limit at 129.5lbs. This was also Borg’s second time missing weight having come in 1.25lbs over for his fight with Geane Herrera in June, 2015.
Despite the fighters missing weight, both fights will go ahead, though Hendricks as deducted 20% of his purse and Borg 30%.
Later on in the day, the ceremonial weigh-ins also produced a number of talking points.
Firstly, Cruz and Garbrandt had to be pulled apart during their staredown and then Amanda Nunes bizarrely took to the stage wearing a lion mask before an intense eye-to-eye lock with Rousey.
Both title fights promise big things tomorrow. Make sure you don’t miss any of the action—here’s how you can watch:
UFC 207 Times and Channels
Main Card – BT Sport 2 – 03:00am
Amanda Nunes (c) vs Ronda Rousey – for UFC women’s bantamweight title
Dominick Cruz (c) vs Cody Garbrandt – for UFC bantamweight title
TJ Dillashaw vs John Lineker
Louis Smolka vs Ray Borg
UFC Fight Pass Prelims – UFC Fight Pass / BT Sport 2 – 01:00am
Johny Hendricks vs Neil Magny
Dong Hyun Kim vs Tarec Saffiedine
Antonio Carlos Junior vs Marvin Vettori
Mike Pyle vs Alex Garcia
UFC Fight Pass Prelims – UFC Fight Pass – 11:30pm
Alex Oliveira vs Tim Means