Action Sports 3 years ago

Ronda Rousey: A champion of champions, but what's next?

  • Ronda Rousey: A champion of champions, but what's next?

Mixed martial arts has been criticized for its “violence and bloodthirstiness”, often seen as rampant or savage. Many people don’t see the art form of the term mixed martial arts.

However, that’s not to say it hasn’t made an impact. Oh boy, no way. On August 2nd (Australian time) the world witnessed Ronda Rousey defend her UFC Women’s bantamweight title for the 6th consecutive time against previously undefeated Brazilian star Bethe “the Pitbull” Correia.

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For the talk that Correia talked, she couldn’t walk the walk. In fact, she barely walked. Lasting only 34 seconds, Correia found herself face first into the canvas after a KO win by Rousey. Which is interesting considering the fact Rousey is a world class judoka, not previously known for her boxing prowess.

Let’s check out the facts for a minute.

The defending champion had dispatched 9 of her opponents by armbar submission, and the other 2 by way of knockouts. All of her opponents had been finished, none of her fights have ever gone to a judge’s decision. To quote "Rowdy" Ronda herself, 'a judge’s decision is basically a loss.' She has worked her butt off to be perched nicely at the top of the MMA world, and dominate headlines around the globe, thus making her one of the most popular figures and marketable athletes in the world. A glittering mma record, colourful character and an incredible work ethic will do that to you.

The challenger, Bethe Correia, had made herself known by strategically taking out each of Ronda’s teammates, known as the Four Horsewomen, until Ronda was the last one standing. However, Bethe’s record is much different to that of Ronda’s. Only two of her fights have come by way of TKO, the rest by judge’s decision. Despite this, Bethe was also undefeated in 9 fights, making her one of two remaining undefeated women’s bantamweight challengers.

So why did she get a shot?

Well, to put it simply, Ronda’s just about cleared out the bantamweight division, and there’s no one left to fight but picking off the undefeated ones and completely dominating the division. To be honest, I don’t think Bethe did anything to deserve this fight but hey, she got it so let’s run with it.

Prior to the fight, Bethe talked so much more crap than any other female I’ve seen in the UFC. Granted, Ronda’s previous victim, Cat Zingano, was a very fierce talker before their fight, but Ronda consoled her immediately after their 14 second bout.

Bethe openly disrespected Ronda and gave no second thoughts about her words. And that got Ronda MAD. I’ve not seen this woman get angry before. I mean sure, you get psyched up for a fight and you get aggressive. But there’s a huge difference between aggressive and mad.

99.9% of the fight was stand up. Correia was beaten at her own game. Ronda controlled the fight, copped maybe 3 punches, and took over. A few knees to the body and a flurry of punches knocked out Correia cold. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a knock out in men’s MMA, so to see Ronda do it takes the excitement levels beyond any measure.

More celebrities and fans tweeted about Ronda’s fight than the previous UFC main event as a whole. Ronda has an enormous fan following, even if her fans only watch her and don’t generally watch MMA.

Rousey has undeniably cemented herself as one of, if not the all-time, the greatest mixed martial artists in history. With an unbeaten record like hers, and her continually developing abilities in the octagon, there is nothing standing in Ronda’s way right now.

Just over two minutes in the Octagon and Ronda Rousey has four consecutive title defences;
UFC 170 vs Sara McMann - 1:06
UFC 175 vs Alexis Davis - 0:16
UFC 184 vs Cat Zingano - 0:14
UFC 190 vs Bethe Correia - 0:34

Which begs the question, what’s next for the unbeaten bantamweight superstar?

As it stands, a third match with Miesha Tate is heavily rumoured to be on the cards. If anything, Miesha deserves a title shot more than any other woman on the UFC roster at the current point in time. Miesha has won her last 4 consecutive fights, and a third fight with Ronda will more than likely be her last. I’m not saying she’ll be out of title contention, but so long as Ronda is the champion after that fight I personally can’t see “Cupcake” ever fighting for the bantamweight title again.

Another fighter to be mentioned has to be Cat Zingano. The poor lady lasted 14 seconds against Rousey, and was utterly and visibly distraught after that fight. Cat has another impressive record, only a single judge’s decision victory in a near perfect 9-1 record. Ronda even said to Cat they’ll fight again, as there was so much hype leading up to their bout, with Cat ranked the number 1 contender, Ronda the champion. Both women barely had any time to show off any kind of ability, because hey, Ronda caught her arm, sat on her and it was all over. 

Whether they’ll fight again is yet to be seen, but I’d put my money on seeing them both in the octagon after a potential fight against Cupcake.

And what else would complete this entry but a mention of the only other dominant woman in MMA right now. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. There have been so many rumours and so much debate over this topic, I’m sick to death of it. The Brazilian slugger has an impressive record, 12-1 (1). While she has a no contest to her name, she’s the completely opposite of Bethe Correia. A Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter, Cyborg has had 2 judge’s decisions, all the rest of her victories have been TKO’s. This lady is physically imposing and packs a lot of power, something Ronda hasn’t exactly had to deal with much of at all in her MMA career.

The biggest road block between a Ronda v Cyborg fight has been the weight class at which a potential fight would take place. Cyborg naturally walks around at 160 pounds, and it can sometimes be a struggle for her to make 145. She dominates the 145 pound division of Invicta FC, but the UFC doesn’t house a 145 class for women. Ronda has said time and time again, make the weight and we’ll fight. But it’s just getting to the point that
A. it’s frustrating all the fans on both sides,
B. the weight cut for Cyborg is borderline dangerous, and
C. neither is willing to budge even 5 pounds. Ronda won’t move from her 135 limit because she doesn’t need to, but Cyborg can’t actually make 135 at this stage.

Cyborg has ditched the title attempt (for now) and is calling out Rousey purely for the chance to determine which fighter is truly the best in the world. They both dominate their respective divisions, but clearly Cyborg wants this fight at the first opportunity she gets.

There’s no doubt that Cyborg v Rousey would absolutely break the internet and the MMA world. An extremely dangerous stand up fighter versus the best mixed martial artist of today has the makings of going down as an amazing fight. Unfortunately, unless Cyborg makes weight, it looks like we’re all waiting until Ronda wants a big rivalry match when she retires, much like that of the Mayweather vs Pacquiao debate.

Nonetheless, nobody is stopping Ronda any time soon.

12-0. Who’s next?

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