Ronda Rousey defended her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship belt this past Saturday night at UFC 168 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was the co-headline fight for the much anticipated year-end event for the UFC, although I could list a few fights that I had been anticipating more. Silva vs Weidman, Browne vs Barnett, even Leben vs Hall I was anxious to see. But Rousey and Meisha Tate walked away from UFC 168 with the Fight of the Night bonus and honestly, it was never really in doubt once the fight round was underway.
Rousey was pushed and challenged in this match, unlike what she has experienced in her career. Tate managed to make it to the second round, the first time any Rousey opponent has managed to do so. There were a few moments in the first round when it appeared Tate would able to inflict her will and stand a chance in the fight, however Rousey would quickly put an end to any such idea moments later. The champion’s performance at 168 was as impressive of any UFC fighter as I’ve seen recently. When Tate would become aggressive with Rousey and come in for a takedown, Rousey each time would turn to her Judo and Tate would find herself on her back. You could see it coming before it happened, but it was no less impressive when you saw it.
Rousey is 9-0 now in her career with all stoppages, all by arm-bar. Eight of those wins came in the first round, with the only other coming at UFC 168 and it was in the second round. Rousey is as dominant in her division as any UFC fighter is. And this puts her in the top pound-for-pound rankings, no question.
I’ve had this conversation with others and I’ve seen her disqualified from the list as a woman. Times are a changin’, just not there yet! If any man in the UFC had her qualifications, there would be no conversation. Nine fights, nine wins, nine stoppages, eight in the first round, never had a fight go the distance, a UFC champion… exactly. The only argument that I think could be entertained on why Rousey is not a top pound-for-pound fighter is the competition she faces. Rousey has established herself as a household name in the sport of MMA, something she’s alone with in the women’s division. There is a perception that the talent she faces is sub-par. I don’t agree with it and I think there’s a little bit of what I was saying previously seeping in again, but there are certainly fewer competitors than some of the men have. But since when did quality and quantity become synonymous? Anderson Silva has a lot of title defenses, how many against quality opponents?
With Georges St-Pierre currently inactive for the foreseeable future, he’s been dropped from the top-10 pound-for-pound list. With Anderson Silva losing a second straight fight and as much uncertainty about his future as there is with GSP, you wonder if you see the Spider drop completely from the list. With spots opening up on the list, it’ll be interesting to see how the once stagnant list will look. On the most recently released top-10, Rousey came in at #10. You can see the UFC’s full list here. With this win and a quick turn-around for UFC 170 where she will be headlining, let the wondering begin about how high up Rousey can climb this list.
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