UFC

Ronda Rousey’s three career-defining fights

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The aftermath of Ronda Rousey’s 34-second knockout victory over Bethe Correia has had an air of deja vu about it.

Once again, the MMA world is left to reflect upon a fighter who is way out on her own, with seemingly no true competitor available to give her the contest she craves.

Miesha Tate has been identified by UFC President Dana White – and by Ronda herself – as Rousey’s next opponent, and Tate has spoken about the need for someone to prove that it is not a one-woman division.

Tate spoke of the danger of fans turning off from women’s MMA if Rousey’s dominance continued, but for the time being at least, pay-per-view figures and the level of interest in MMA betting has never been higher.

Ronda Rousey

by  PedroGaytan

The main reason for the spike of interest is Rousey, and while her dominance might prove to be her undoing if the likes of Tate, or Cris Cyborg, don’t show themselves to be true contenders, no one can take away her achievements in the sport and her place in history as one of the greatest fighters of all time.

Here are three fights from Rousey’s career that helped to cement her status as a fighting legend.

Rousey vs Carmouche, February 2013

The biggest scare of Rousey’s fight career coincided with the first ever women’s UFC bout.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the fierce level of competition between Rousey and Louisiana native bantamweight Liz Carmouche prompted White to change his view of women’s fighting.

Rousey ended the UFC 157 headline fight with a first-round armbar, but not before Carmouche had her in a standing rear-naked choke, and also a neck crank. The drama of seeing the undefeated Rousey taken to the brink was enough to captivate audiences the world over.

The rest, as they say, is history, and it seems incredible that White or anyone else doubted the potential of women’s MMA to become a huge draw for TV audiences. But it took ‘Rowdy’ Ronda to show everyone the possibilities.

Rousey vs Zingano, July 2014

Lightning fast victories have become a hallmark of Rousey’s fighting style, but the manner of her victory over Cat Zingano at UFC 184 shocked the world.

Zingano was widely regarded as the best-equipped fighter to challenge Rousey for her UFC bantamweight title, but, in front of 16,000 fight fans at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, Rousey delivered a 14-second knockout that still stands as the fastest victory in UFC history.

The fight was an explosive display of gymnastic manoeuvring, but the clinical way in which Rousey ended it left the world stunned. Everyone knew beforehand that she was something special, but only after dispatching Zingano quite so swiftly did the world begin to think Rousey to be unbeatable.

Rousey vs Correia, August 2015

The build-up to UFC 190’s headline bout between Rousey and Bethe Correia was an emotionally charged affair, to say the least.

Weigh-ins threaten to turn violent as Correia fired broadsides at her opponent, seemingly unfazed by Rousey’s track record of destroying all comers.

Correia seemed to flick a switch in Rousey with a comment about suicide, which hit a nerve in the champion, whose father killed himself when she was only eight years old.

Some speculated whether Rousey might deliberately prolong her fight against Correia, in order to inflict more pain on the Brazilian. You could consider 34 seconds a long time to be in the ring with Ronda, and that’s all it took for Correia to be sent tumbling to the floor after a knockout blow to the face that tarnished her undefeated record and her hopes of knocking Ronda off her perch.

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