Ronda Rousey continues her domination of the UFC women's bantamweight division but what could possibly be next for a fighter who has no peer? Where do the UFC odds on Rousey go from here?
It was just another trip to the slaughterhouse for Ronda Rousey's latest opponent Bethe Correia as the greatest female fighter ever to grace the Octagon put the clamps on and the lights out seconds after the opening bell. Rousey now stands at 12-0 and has finished all her opponents in the first round except one, Miesha Tate, who lasted until round three before succumbing to one of Rousey's patented armbars.
Rousey's dominance in the women's division has become the stuff of legend and has transformed from a curious sideshow attraction to the realm of superhero status. All Rousey needs is a cape because it's only a matter of time before we find out she can fly. Forget about Floyd Mayweather and his 48 consecutive victories. While Money rat-a-tat-tats his way to victory like a world class fencing champion Rousey springs into the center of the cage like a lioness hunting her prey. The only comparison to her supreme reign in the annals of combat sports that leaps to mind would be Mike Tyson 30 years ago before he became mortal at the hands of Buster Douglas.
The UFC fanbase has run out of superlatives for Rousey. She has finished eight of her 12 opponents in under one minute. Now read that previous sentence slowly - eight of 12 in under one minute! Scarier still is that she is now clearly a multidimensional fighter whose world class judo skills are no longer the sole weapon in her arsenal. Rousey has become a punishing striker as evidenced by her three KO's/TKO's over her last four fights. Prior to her showdown with Sara McMann in February of 2014 Rousey had won all her matches via submission. However she has developed a full-fledged repertoire of pain and is a fighter who is constantly seeking to improve and evolve. The question now is where does she go from here and what more can she do?
Next Man Up?
Ah yes, next man up because we all know that the worst kept secret is Rousey fighting a man because she simply has no peer at 135 pounds in the women's division. At this point the only thing she can do is either step up to 145 pounds and meet Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino, the current featherweight queen ruling Invicta FC, or fight a dude. How is the UFC supposed to hype any female opponent other than Cyborg? You can talk about a rematch with Miesha Tate all you want but it's almost like watching a video game that you have mastered over and over again. You know the result, it's simply a case of how fast can you beat it?
The UFC odds in the last match clocked Rousey anywhere from -1400 at SportsInteraction to a high of -1975 at BetDSI over Correia. I suppose a fight against the second best female fighter in the world at 135 pounds, Miesha Tate, will probably be about the same. If this were the old days of the UFC where virtually no holds were barred and the carnival atmosphere prevailed like the Bearded Lady and the Lobster Boy then some promoter would be dreaming up a way to pit two fighters against one Wonder Woman. But this is today's UFC and it has come too far to return to its underground roots. Even pitting Rousey against a male fighter, as titillating as it may seem, would do a disservice to Rousey and the sport of MMA.
At 28-years-old Rowdy Ronda is in the prime of her career and physical peak. She has perhaps two to three years to get better but I truly have no idea how that's possible when she's starching opponents within seconds of the opening bell. For now we will have to see what Dana White has in store to feed the masses insatiable hunger for more Ronda Rousey. She has become so proficient and so violently predictable that the viewing public may grow weary of paying $50 to see a one-sided match. Or perhaps Rousey herself will become bored, take her training too lightly, her celebrity status too seriously and lapse into a detached malaise which will lead to her fall from grace. It is hard to envision that happening but for now let's be content that we are watching the most dominating fighter of this, or any, generation.