The “Battle of the Undefeated Beauties” headlines UFC 184, when UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (10-0) and “Alpha” Cat Zigano (9-0) meet February 28, 2015. This match will no doubt be the toughest challenge of both women’s careers.
We have come to love Rousey for many reasons, among the top are her Judo techniques, her do or die attitude in and out of the ring as well as her Jui Jitsu arm bars. Before becoming the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Rousey was the Strikefore Women’s Bantamweight Champion, which led to battles and victories against Sara D’Alelio, Julia Budd, Meisha Tate and Sara Kaufman, all of which came via arm bar submissions in the first round.
Before deciding to pursue a pro MMA career, Rousey was the 2004 and 2006 Junior World Judo Champion winning bronze and gold medals and becoming the first ever American to win two medals in this event. In 2007 Rousey went on to win a silver medal in the World Judo Championship as well as a gold medal in the 2007 Pan American Games. In 2008 she earned a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, becoming the firsst American to win an Olympic medal in Judo since its inception as an Olympic sport.
Since starting her MMA career in 2010 Rousey has defeated everyone she has faced which includes Hayden Munoz and Autumn Richardson. After defeating Taylor Stratford in the TUFF-N-UFF Semi-final in March of 2011, Rousey left the tournament to turn pro, where she continued her winning ways by defeating Edinae Gomes at King of the Cage in March 2011, as well as Charmaine Tweet in June of 2011. Rousey’s victories all ended in submission via arm bar with the longest taking 57 seconds.
In 2012 Rousey was given the title of UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion by President Dana White, although honored, Rousey stated she wasn’t the champion until she has successfully defended the title. That challenge came in the form of Liz Caramouche when the two faced off in February 2013, Rousey winning via arm bar submission in the closing seconds of round one. She has since successfully defended her title four times against the best the sport has to offer, including a rematch with Meisha Tate that went to round 3 before Rousey got the win via arm bar submission.
Some have said that she is a one trick pony, how can you fault someone for being good in one particular area? She has since went on to face the likes of Sara McMann and Alexis Davis where she has started to silence the critics and skeptics with TKO wins over both fighters, McMann by knees and punches and Davis by punches.
“Alpha” Cat Zigano may be just as talented and skilled as Rousey, making this a great matchup. Zingano started wrestling when she was 12 years old. She continued to wrestle throughout high school and into college where she eventually became part of the women’s wrestling teams for MacMurray College and for the University of Cumberlands where she became a four-time All-American National Champion.
In 2007, Zingano competed in her first MMA match, from that day forward she knew she had found her home. Zingano’s professional career started in 2008 where she defeated Karina Taylor via arm bar submission. In 2011 she earned TKO victories over Carina Damn with punches and Takayo Hashi with a body slam. Zigano faced Raquel Pennington in 2012 at Invicta 3 where she won via rear naked choke.
When Zigano arrived to the UFC, she faced Meisha Tate where the winner would get to be a coach on The Ultimate Fighter television series opposite Ronda Rousey, and earning a title shot after the show ended. Zingano beat Tate in a grueling three round battle, but due to a later injury to her ACL, she was out of the show and championship fight and Meisha Tate back in. Following surgery, Zingano returned to the Octagon in September 2014 UFC 178 to take on Amanda Nunes (they were scheduled to fight in Strikefore, but the fight never took place). She won by TKO in the 3rd round.
Zingano has been a champion in promotions outside of the UFC. She has held belts as the Fight to Win 125 and 135lb champion as well as the Ring of Fire Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion.
Rousey has amazing takedowns, submissions as well as takedown defense. We have seen her constantly improve from fight to fight, she is ever evolving, as seen in her last two TKO victories. In her last three fights she has shown more patience and technique. She is vicious, with a no mercy attitude, and a true champion. Her mother is Ann Maria DeMars, the first American to win the World Judo Championship in 1984, a huge influence and a very present supporter and motivator for her. Rousey has said she will not get beat up with her mom watching.
Zingano is also vicious, very well rounded with submission wins as well as a variety of TKO’s which include knees, elbows, punches and a slam. Zingano’s husband Mauricio was a huge part of her motivation and desire to be the best “HE” thought she could be. Even though he is no longer with us, I have no doubt he is still a strong motivating factor if not stronger for Zingano.
Rousey has to be patient, where Zingano needs to start faster than usual. I am truly looking forward to this fight, the battle of the undefeated beauties. It’s going to be battle to the finish.
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