UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will go for her third UFC title defense in only seven months, a stark departure from the current time where few UFC champion and top-level draws are actively fighting.
Rousey beat her archrival Miesha Tate at UFC 168 last December, followed it up with the quickest title defense in UFC history by starching Sara McMann with her first-ever knockout at UFC 170, and now she’ll take on No. 2-ranked challenger Alexis Davis in the co-main event of UFC 175 this weekend (Sat., July 5, 2014) from Las Vegas.
As a nearly 16-to-1 favorite, most are betting Rousey will keep the gold with another dominant performance. However, that doesn’t mean that the meticulous champion is going to prepare any less. Cutting weight and visibly irritated, she told MMA H.E.A.T. that she has a few tricks up her sleeve based on what Davis’ team may have seen watching her beat McMann:
“We’re expecting Alexis to try and risk a lot of elbows whenever I come in close, so defenses a lot, and also because Sara McMann was a wrestler, um, I fought her with a much different stance than I would with Alexis, but if I was them watching that video, I would assume that I’m open for left head kicks. So I’m assuming that they practiced a lot of push kicks, left head kicks, and elbows in close, so I’ve been anticipating their gameplan.”
The Olympic medalist has an in-depth and precise gameplan in place, and nothing less would be expected from the ultra-competitive Rousey. She’s going to go at Davis with everything in an effort to add a tenth straight finish to her undefeated record.
But with each passing win, the UFC women’s bantamweight division only grows shallower with top-level competitors to face “Rowdy.” Sure, Gina Carano and Cris “Cyborg” Justino are rumored to come to the UFC to face her, but that is only speculation at this point.
That means she could clear out her division in a very short amount of time, and that’s not a good thing for this young avenue of the sport. Rousey has teased taking a break after facing Davis, and perhaps that’s the best thing for the weight class right now. It’s just not the best thing for the struggling UFC pay-per-view (PPV) numbers. What will the future hold for Rousey?