UFC 184 will be a spectacle of some of the best in women’s MMA. It’s hard to imagine the growth of the 135 pound division or the category at all without the trajectory of Ronda Rousey.
Since joining the UFC two years ago, Rousey has not only complimented her flawless 10-0 record, she has accentuated it with brutal finishes of all of her opponents. As the bantamweight champion steps upon the threshold of eternal greatness, she has one of the biggest tasks at hand at UFC 184 in Cat Zingano.
The MMA native whose record is also an unscratched 9-0, will meet Rousey in the Octagon ehile being escorted by one of the worst years of her life. Before season 18 of the Ultimate Fighter, Zingano’s path to the title was disrupted by a crippling knee injury. In the midst of her accendance to the title, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate round two, wrote itself into the blank space Zingano left during her injury lapse.
As Ronda continued to dominant the landscape of the bantamweight division, Zingano repaired herself to resurrect for her first chance at UFC gold. Unfortunately her claim would be cut severely short when her husband took his own life. The tragic circumstances kept Zingano out of the sport longer than anticipated.
It is the colours of this story that will aid in providing fans with such a compelling match up. Both women have immense respect for one another– I would assume on Ronda’s behalf it is partly due to her own struggles with her fathers suicide.
But despite just this, the belief that both women understand who they are up against makes the depth of this fight important.
Ronda Rousey is one of the sports most obsessive athletes. Her outstanding drive that has been a habit built into her whole life is what grants her such intimidating presence. Like most champions, after a long streak of dominance, we question whether they are beatable.
Having Zingano take responsibility of this question makes this fight exciting. However what makes it epic is the perseverance she has developed from her year from hell. Taking into account that Zingano has rebuilt herself in the shambles of such a tragic time frame, her mental edge will aid her in resisting Rousey’s intimidating aura.
But also, if Zingano is to beat the champion she can single-handedly write one of the most amazing stories in MMA history.
Boxing veteran Holly Holm is set to make her MMA debut against Raquel Pennington at UFC 184 and she believes ‘women’s MMA would benefit greatly if Rousey lost’. Her words are not unconventional, in fact their logical.
If we examine the divisions who have recently lost their reigning champions, we can agree whole heartedly. In most cases such as in middleweight with Chris Weidman or welterweight with Robbie Lawler, unpredictable circumstances will draw more interest from fans across all weight classes.
Although Georges St Pierre was one of my absolute favourite fighters, the division he left behind is brimming with potential firecracker match ups. It has opened up a world of possibilities and Zingano can be the craftsman of this for the bantamweight division of she defeats Rousey.
I believe that because Ronda so sternly determines to retire with her belt that not even a bull could out muscle her. But she is human and failure may discard your invincibility, it does however, make you more great.
As a women who will forever feel unfulfilled by not attaining Olympic gold, she can understand the workings of failure. It can also provide a radiant story line for revenge.