Let’s take a moment to reflect on Ronda Rousey’s UFC 170 performance against Sara McMann.
Rousey TKO’d her “toughest challenge yet” in just sixty-six seconds. Yes, Herb Dean stopped the fight early, but that shouldn’t take away from the dominance that Rousey displayed.
Coming into the fight, many predicted that Rousey had finally met her physical match and would not be able to bully McMann. That proved to be false about thirty seconds into the fight. Rousey was able to back McMann to the cage with a wild flurry of punches before clinching up with her opponent. McMann was utterly helpless from that moment on.
As McMann tried to maneuver her way out of Rousey’s suffocating clinch she left her liver open for a perfectly timed knee that would cause Herb Dean to jump in and call the bout off.
Simply put, Rousey was too much for McMann and proved that she could be too much for any woman in her division.
In addition to her physical dominance, Rousey showed a new wrinkle to her ever growing skill set: knockout power. While a body shot KO may not get the same amount of attention as putting someone to sleep, it is still one of the most brutal finishes in the sport. Before UFC 170 the common gameplan to defeat Rousey was to defend the armbar and outstrike her on the feet.
The days of using that gameplan to beat Rousey are over.
It’s hard to see a way to defeat Rousey right now. Rousey’s defensive boxing could definitely use some work, but she has exhibited a solid chin in all of her bouts. The Women’s Bantamweight division currently lacks the type of one punch knockout power you could find in many of the men’s divisions. That’s no slight against the women as their fights are consistently more entertaining than their male counterparts, it’s just that the only way I see Rousey losing is by taking a giant punch to the chin. If nobody in the division has that skill, then Rousey may very well retire undefeated.
Rousey may have her first true challenge if a dangerous striker like Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino can make her way down to 135 lbs. Even then, it’s hard to pick against Rousey. UFC 170 proved to me that Rousey is constantly evolving. Whatever mistakes Rousey showed in her last bout likely won’t be there in her next bout. Didn’t find her striking all that good? She’ll come out with a great jab in her next bout.
As much as a lot of fans want to see Rousey lose, it probably won’t be happening anytime soon. If Rousey continues to add new wrinkles to her game like she did at UFC 170, the Women’s Bantamweight division may have to wait for her retirement before it gets a new champion.
For all of your MMA news, visit SciFighting.com