Amanda Nunes: UFC trying to protect Ronda Rousey’s psyche ahead of UFC 207

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LOS ANGELES – Amanda Nunes says she believes UFC chiefs are trying to protect Ronda Rousey’s psyche by making her the singular focus of promotional efforts for UFC 207.

Nunes (13-4 MMA, 6-1 UFC) will make the first defense of her women’s bantamweight title against Rousey (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 30. Yet despite being in the unfamiliar role of challenger, it is Rousey who has completely dominated the UFC’s publicity machine in the lead-up to the bout.

“I feel like UFC want to make it easy for her, so she doesn’t feel like she’s not the champion anymore,” Nunes told reporters this week. “They want to do this to make her feel strong or something. They try to promote her so she can see that – ‘Ronda, Ronda, Ronda.’

“But she knows she is the challenger, I am the champion. Nobody can change this. Nobody can make Ronda the champion. She is not the champion anymore.

“They want to make things more soft for her.”

Rousey has not fought since being knocked out by Holly Holm in Australia in November 2015 and has mostly avoided answering questions about the defeat.

Regardless, the bulk of UFC billboards dotted across America focus on Rousey and her return, leaving Nunes largely on

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