At UFC 184, Ronda Rousey all but cemented her legacy by submitting her formerly unbeaten opponent, Cat Zingano, at the Los Angeles Staples Center in only 14 seconds. Not only did the self-proclaimed “greatest of all time” win, she set the record for the fastest finish in a championship bout in all of UFC history.
Rousey’s dominance set the Twitter Universe on fire, leaving many in disbelief at the champion’s ease with which she defeats one high-caliber opponent after another.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 1, 2015
— ESPN MMA LIVE (@ESPN_MMALIVE) March 1, 2015
— Mike Quick Swick (@officialswick) March 1, 2015
— Jason Chambers (@FollowMMA) March 1, 2015
People keep comparing Ronda Rousey to Royce Gracie. I understand the impulse. But, yo, Royce Gracie never did anything LIKE THAT!
— Jonathan Snowden (@mmaencyclopedia) March 1, 2015
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the UFC finds itself in a bind. With respect to Rousey, she has effectively cleaned out the 135-pound division. She has beaten all of the division’s top-five contenders and six of its top 10. In addition, as the UFC has not yet built a 125-pound or a 145-pound division around the one in which Rousey fights, the champion has no other option but to remain at bantamweight.
At the same time, the world of mixed martial arts has been eager to witness Rousey face the other most dominant female champion on the planet — Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
Justino is currently the Invicta FC featherweight champion. She fought last Friday night at Invicta FC 11 and finished her opponent in just 46 seconds. Cyborg hasn’t lost a fight since 2005 and essentially retired the original “face of women’s MMA,” Gina Carano, in 2009.
However, Justino has never fought at 135 pounds, and UFC president Dana White sternly exclaimed at the UFC 184 post-fight conference that if Cyborg made weight, the fight would happen.
“(Ronda) will fight her (Justino) in a minute if she can make 135 pounds. She wants to fight her. She won’t say it. I’ll say it.”
If the Rousey/Justino fight materializes, the bout will more than likely represent one of the most anticipated events in the history of MMA.
(Featured Image by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)