Cat Zingano was supposed to be Ronda Rousey’s stiffest UFC competition ever. In fact, many people thought Zingano would be Rousey stiffest UFC competition ever by far.
Well, Rousey beat Zingano at UFC 184 in Los Angeles on Saturday night – in 14 seconds, using her infamous arm bar to stretch Zingano into submission.
Rousey’s win was tied for the fastest submission in UFC history. It was also the fastest win in UFC title-match history.
At this point, we have to wonder who, if anyone, has a chance of beating Rousey (11-0), who has defeated 10 of her 11 opponents inside the first round. We also have to start wondering why Rousey is so much better than everyone she has faced.
“I think it’s because of how young the sport really is,” Rousey said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “There’s no one doing MMA now that grew up doing MMA. They all came from a different discipline. I think the next generation of fighter is going to be something completely different where they’ve grown up doing all the different disciplines and putting them together in one sport in itself, whereas all the women really occupying the sport right now all came from a different background. I came from two Olympic teams in judo. Sara McMann is an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling. Holly Holm was a boxing word champion.
“All these other girls from all these different combat sports are coming together because MMA is the only place where they can make money. And there’s still a lot of specialization and stuff like that in the women that is becoming rarer on the guys’ side as they become more well-rounded.”
Still, almost no one could have predicted Rousey’s fight with Zingano would end so quickly. Actually, scratch that. Rousey had a feeling it might.
“Well, I thought it was a possibility she could come out and throw some crazy flying stuff right away,” Rousey said. “She did that before in the second round of one of her flights. She came out right away and threw a flying knee. So many people kept saying she was a slow starter, and I could hear in her voice that she was annoyed by that. She’s like, ‘No, I’m not a slow starter. I only was in the last two fights,’ or something like that. I feel like she wanted to prove otherwise and come out really strong in the beginning this time.
“I also look at my own footage, and I’m like, ‘Okay, how would I try and beat myself?’” Rousey continued. “And I notice that never in any fight has anyone ever ran out and been right in my face right away. And so I thought between these two things, there’s a possibility that she could come out and do a flying elbow or a flying knee in the very beginning. There were other possibilities in my head as well, but I was ready for that one. She ran out a lot faster than I expected, though.”
Doug Gottlieb doesn’t think another opponent will ever try the quick-strike strategy against Rousey ever again. Rousey agrees.
“Yeah, I think that plan has been tried and failed,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is trying that again.”