Well, it wasn’t an armbar this time, but the story was largely the same on Saturday night. Rousey defeated the latest opponent who was supposed to give her a run for her money.
This time, she TKO’d Olympic wrestler and top contender Sara McMann—after drilling her with a knee to the liver from the clinch, followed by a few strikes to the head.
Referee Herb Dean stepped in and ended the bout just 1:06 into the first round. Some fans and others around the sport claimed the stoppage was early, as McMann appeared to be on her way back up.
This writer disagrees, but I digress.
The stoppage was fine.
Regardless, Rousey turned in yet another dominant performance, improving her professional MMA record to a perfect 9-0 (3-0 UFC). Rousey has finished every professional fight that she has been in, and Miesha Tate is still the only fighter to make it out of the first round against the “Rowdy” one.
Now, the question is, who’s next?
Top contender Cat Zingano was supposed to coach opposite Rousey on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, until she was sidelined with a knee injury and replaced by the aforementioned Miesha Tate. After her victory on Saturday, Rousey said that she believes Zingano deserves a title shot, which is hard to disagree with, but does not sound like the most competitive fight in the world.
Zingano is a great fighter, and she could very well defeat Rousey—as could any of those who have tried before—but the biggest challenge for Rousey is still lurking about.
In Curitiba, Brazil, to be exact.
Current Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino, has been extremely open about her desire to fight Rousey. “Cyborg” is widely considered one the most—if not the most—talented female fighter on the planet, along with Rousey. After Saturday night’s brief main event, Justino took to twitter and said, “I’m glad @rondarousey won- now I can kick her ass in December – make it happen daddy @danawhite.”
This immediately sparked an Internet debate on whether this fight was a realistic possibility, and inspired my writing this piece.
“Cyborg” currently fights at 145 pounds, which is the weight she has to cut down to from her walking weight. For those who do not know, walking weight is the weight at which a fighter is naturally—or walks around at—and is usually not the weight at which they weigh in with.
In the past, Cyborg has had trouble cutting down, which is the main reason that people question if she will be able to fight Rousey. Safety is always the number one concern, and nobody wants to see a fighter seriously harm his or her body cutting weight—and believe me, it does happen.
UFC president Dana White commented on the possible fight between Rousey and “Cyborg,” saying, “She’ll probably have to make 135 pounds a couple times somewhere else and fight and show that she’s healthy, and then we’ll see what happens.” –mmafighting.com.
Clearly, “Cyborg” does not expect to immediately receive a title shot against Rousey if she is able to make the 135 cut, hence her adding that the fight would take place in December, which is still a stretch.
Whether it happens or not, and I do believe it will someday, a Rousey vs “Cyborg” fight is a very interesting notion, and would finally give Rousey some stiff competition—and someone to fear.
Make it happen, Dana.