Ronda Rousey’s return to the Octagon at UFC 207 is sure to be one of the biggest draws in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history, not least of which for the woman’s side of the sport.
Reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will have the pleasure of welcoming Rowdy back to the cage on December 30, but she’ll be facing arguably the most dangerous version of the former champ ever seen.
As far as recent images show, Rousey has transformed her body for the bout and is looking ripped and ready to make her back into the UFC reckoning more than 13 months after her last fight under the promotion’s banner.
It was on November 15, 2015, that The Arm Collector suffered a monstrous second-round knockout defeat to Holly Holm thanks to a gruesome head kick from The Preacher’s Daughter, and we’ve barely seen Rousey since.
A reminder of that knockout—not that anyone really needs one:
Well, it’s clear from her latest Instagram updates that she’s been hard at work in the gym, and with a little more than a week to run until she makes her comeback at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, this may be the most tenacious, the most hungry Rousey to which we ever bear witness.
Click ahead to see the latest images of Rousey in training—with a new bod to boot.
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If the 29-year-old submission specialist has ever been in better shape, this writer hasn’t witnessed it.
There’s a particular focus on the development of Rousey’s back, which is in no doubt aided by her boxing training and the over-exertion placed on the shoulders when twisting one’s body into a punch, showing just how effective combat training can be for the physique in general.
If you ever wanted to take up some form of interval training and are looking to get better at defending yourself at the same time, Rousey stands as proof that judo, jiu-jitsu and other martial arts might just be the way to go.
Rowdy has also been incredibly secretive during this fight camp—even by her standards—but she recently opened up to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne to disclose exactly why she’s been living like a hermit:
“It’s like I’m doing the chick version of growing a beard and living in a cave, you know? You remember when Batman goes off to this ninja place, then time lapses and you see he’s grown this beard? My woman version of growing a beard was letting my highlights grow out and changing my number.”
And there it is, ladies and gentlemen. If you didn’t already have reason to at least root for the dethroned champion in some capacity come December 30, she just compared herself to the Dark Knight himself—and one can see why.
If there was a Batman character out there Rousey more closely resembled, however, one might be tempted to go with Bane the way her traps have developed in recent months. See a resemblance?
But seriously, Nunes will take this fight lightly at her own peril. The last time we saw Rousey in UFC action, it was losing her title after seeing her jaw shattered by the kick that was heard around the world—a tough fate to come back from.
Will her new-and-improved frame do her justice inside the Octagon. One has the feeling it won’t be Rousey’s body that decides the result at all, with more questions placed over her mind heading back to Las Vegas.