Ronda Rousey is arguably the most dominant MMA fighter in the sport, and she’s just entering her prime. But are people already looking for the next Ronda Rousey; the next up-and-coming fighter who can dethrone Rousey and become the undisputed UFC champion?
They may not need to look further. Meet Evnika Saadvakass, the Kazakhstan female phenom taking the internet by storm in the wake of the UFC 190 fight between Ronda and Brazilian challenger Bethe Correia.
While she may be positioning herself to become the next Ronda Rousey, Saadvakass won’t be taking on Rousey during a main event anytime soon.
Well, for starters, most eight-year-olds aren’t allowed to stay up that late.
Evnika has gained notoriety because of her enhanced motor skills at such a young age. In the family’s latest YouTube video — which has amassed more than 1.2 million views — her father, Rustam, takes her through a workout that would make adults in good shape weary.
However, in her pursuit to be the next Ronda Rousey, it’s clear Evnika isn’t going to let a workout tire her. She finishes off her offensive flurry with back-to-back 10-punch combinations before some defensive maneuvers.
Two things that will stick with you as you watch this video again (and maybe again) is that her punches aren’t soft. Indeed, you can hear them on the video without the need for any microphones. And second, Saadvakass is well-trained with great footwork coordination. Her ability to anticipate the next move, dodging and weaving seamlessly, combined with constantly coming back to an orthodox stance would make anyone starting out in boxing or MMA jealous.
Both are impressive feats considering the average American is driving a car built before Evnika was born.
The Saadvakass family first burst onto the scene two years ago as her father recorded how fast she could land punches in a two-minute clip. That video was watched over 3 million times.
On her YouTube channel, the family of the next Ronda Rousey commented about her improvement in the last two years.
“The first thing that strikes the eye is her improved footwork. Evnika is very confident in the stand up and her striking looks much harder than it used to be. She looks much more concentrated now and it’s clear that boxing for her is not something to please her dad but something she really loves.”
After solidifying her place firmly atop women’s UFC competition, Ronda Rousey isn’t looking over her shoulder.
At least not yet.
[Images by Saadvakass Family/Youtube & Matthew Stockman/Getty Images]