Ronda Rousey has been a force in MMA since her debut in 2011. In two short years she has become a household name in the world of MMA, bringing to light the incredible amount of talent in the realms of WMMA and scoring seven straight armbar victories in the first round; with only two of those victims lasting more than 54 seconds.
Rousey has the record, the skills and attitude to match (although not to everyone’s taste). History will tell you though that bad attitudes often accompany vast amounts of raw talent; Mike Tyson, Muhammed Ali, and Jon Jones are examples of this. With the responsibility and power of being the champ comes the threat of being suddenly dethroned.
Rousey will no doubt be the bookies’ favorite in every fight while during her reign. Her current form leaves not much room for doubt, but this isn’t always a good thing. We recently saw Anderson Silva knocked from his perch by uber-underdog Chris Weidman and Benson Henderson get smoothed over by Anthony Pettis, so the very same thing could happen to ‘Rowdy’.
Although Rousey has spoken of retiring in the near future there could still come a time that she is defeated. She’s only competed in MMA for over two years, so at the age of 26 she could retire just out of her prime. If fighting isn’t what she wants to do long term, there is a chance that she gets out unbeaten. If not, then who would be the one to take her coveted crown?
Miesha Tate is set to square off against Rousey at UFC 168, though I don’t see her having much more of a chance than the first time around in Strikeforce. Cat Zingano is certainly a tough cookie and Jessica Andrade, even Liz Carmouche or Sarah Kaufman could all be legit threats down the line.
Alexis Davis is the fighter that I would have my eye on, mainly due to her own high level grappling. A black belt in Brazilian and Japanese Jiu Jitsu might help to nullify the relentless attack of Rousey on the mat, although qualifications don’t always get the job done.
Another possible foil for Rousey would be Olypmic silver medalist wrestler Sara McMann. McMann made her UFC debut back at UFC 159 this April, destroying Sheila Gaff with a first round TKO. She awaits her next opponent after pulling out of a scheduled bout with Sarah Kaufman at UFC Fight Night 27. McMann also won gold at the 2009 FILA Grappling World Championships so she could match Rousey on the mat.
Of course this is all speculation at this point. The truth is if you fight long enough, someone is going to beat you. I think if Rousey continues her current form, she could dominate the women’s division for years to come. The fact remains that the division is also stacked with talent. Who is your choice for next women’s champ?