Coming hot on the heels from international fight week in Las Vegas the fight world saw some wonder and unprecedented action from two stacked back to back cards from the UFC.
The fight-filled weekend showcased some memorable moments from top to bottom as we witnessed Chris Weidman keep his stranglehold over the 185 division, two newly-crowned Ultimate Fighter winners and, of course, the retirement of MMA and UFC legend BJ Penn.
But in the midst of all this action came the 16-second destruction of Alexis Davis at the hands of Ronda Rousey – the biggest moment of the weekend.
By Michael McDonald
In just 16 seconds Rousey obliterated the number two ranked WMMA fighter in the UFC and shook the reality and perception of every female fighter signed to the UFC.
Now we’re left wondering – is there a serious contender left to challenge Rousey?
My answer woudl be yes. Of course there is, but how likely is it to materialise?
At this current stage there are three realistic options available that will put her reign to the test – long-time WMMA juggernaut Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Cat Zingano and the bright lights of Hollywood itself.
All three of these options provide a stern test for Rousey as they are all different challenges. For the bright lights of Hollywood, Rousey may indeed follow in the footsteps of former Strikeforce star Gina Carano and swap the canvas for the red carpet. She would be making big money and continuing to enhance her name in the media spotlight.
Although the latter is a possibility, I do believe being athlete is the one thing that has got Rousey so far in life. Dealing with the loss of her father at an early age and paving her way in the Judo and Olympic scene has not only kept her ability to survive stronger as an athlete, it has also allowed her to thrive as well and I doubt any amounts of money will kill the competitor inside her.
Although Zingano is the number one ranked fighter in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division, she may not be able to provide the threat to Rousey as the UFC brass would lead you to believe in pay-per-view build up the fight. Zingano has been out for over a year with career-threatening knee injuries and the unfortunate circumstances over her husband’s untimely death. Now it’s not fair to rule any fighter out before they even step foot into the cage, as displayed by T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173, but with all that time off I don’t see her performing strongly against Rousey. She is not a comeback opponent.
The rivalry between Cyborg and Rousey has become one of MMA’s hottest rivalries for the last two years without even stepping foot into the cage. With verbal and social media cheap shots being exchanged between the two athletes we are continuously waiting with anticipation for this super fight to materialise. With Cyborg’s superior strength and size advantage it seems that she is the only real threat to Ronda’s crown – but, as things stand, this fight will not be happening anytime soon as Cyborg isn’t willing to cut down to 135.
Until this issue is resolved I guess we can expect the Rousey freight train to keep on rolling.