Ronda Rousey Gets A Real Challenger
I don’t know how many Lizards are fans of MMA, but I am and I found this news rather interesting. Ronda Rousey, arguably the biggest star in MMA today, will defend her Women’s Bantamweight World Championship at UFC 195 New Years Weekend against Holly Holm.
For those that don’t know, Rousey has dominated the women’s side of the sport. She is 12-0, with 9 wins by submission and 3 by knockout. Only three of her fights have lasted more than a minute and only one has made it out of the first round. Rousey was an Olympic judoka before getting into mixed martial arts, which put her well ahead of many of her opponents.
A lot of people wanted to see Rousey fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino, who at 14-1 is considered the second best fighter in women’s MMA. The problem is that Cyborg fights at 145 and Rousey fights at 135 - and the UFC doesn’t currently have a 145 weight class on the women’s side. Rousey and UFC President Dana White has said that if a Rousey-Justino fight were to happen, it would have to be at 135 - a weight that Justino has never made in her career. Given the history in combat sports of a champion going up in weight class once they dominate their division, there are quiet rumblings that Rousey is ducking Cyborg - Rousey, on the other hand, likes to remind people that Cyborg once failed a PED test for steroids (which honestly, probably doesn’t help the “ducking” talk - see, e.g. Mayweather, Floyd).
But the Rousey-Holm will definitely be Rousey’s biggest challenge to date. Like many of Rousey’s opponents, Holm has a limited MMA career - she’s currently 9-0. But what separates her from the other competition is that Holm is an accomplished fighter. She’s had three professional kickboxing matches (2-1), and 38 professional boxing matches (33-2-3). For comparison’s sake, Rousey’s previous three most experienced opponents were Alexis Davis (16-5 when she fought Rousey, who lost in 16 seconds), Sarah Kaufman (15-1 when she fought Rousey, who lost in less than a minute), and Miesha Tate who fought Rousey twice (the first time Tate was 12-2 and last 4:27, the second time she was 13-5 and didn’t last a minute).
While I would have preferred the Rousey-Cyborg fight, Holm is a worthy challenger and will provide some intrigue.