Many were pleasantly surprised when reigning UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (pictured) announced Friday that Holly Holm, not Miesha Tate, would be her next victim.
Despite already having two submission losses against Rousey on her résumé, the UFC awarded Tate a third tango with Rousey after last month’s decision victory over Jessica Eye.
Why? It’s not like the outcome would be any different than their first two encounters – particularly since Rousey has only become more dominant since tapping Tate out five fights ago.
Don’t believe me? Rousey’s last four opponents have lasted a COMBINED 130 seconds against her. She’s not Sports Illustrated’s “World’s Most Dominant Athlete” for nothing.
While Holm will likely be an even bigger underdog against Rousey than Tate was at 8-1, at least she’s fresh meat and presents a new challenge for the “Rowdy” one.
Before Rousey began her rapid ascent to superstardom, the biggest knock on the former Olympic judo bronze medalist were her hands. “She’s a one-trick pony. All Ronda’s got is her armbar. She has no standup game” – the critics cried.
By agreeing to pass on an unnecessary trilogy with Tate, it’s obvious the armbar assassin wants to prove her standup assault is no longer the weak link in her repertoire.
Rousey gave fans a 34-second sneak peek of her revamped hands by knocking out Bethe Correia in face-plant fashion earlier this month at UFC 190. What better way to prove she no longer has any weaknesses than by unleashing haymakers on a boxer?
Holm owns a perfect, soon-to-be blemished 9-0 MMA record, but Rousey will still open as a heavy odds-on favorite to dispose of her. Likely even bigger than her 11-1 line against Tate, but perhaps slightly less than the 16-1 odds Correia faced.
Let’s face it, whether it is Tate or Holm, perhaps even Cris “Cyborg” Justino, we pretty much know the outcome of how a Rousey fight is going to conclude – hand raised, shiny gold belt wrapped around waist. However, by handpicking Holm, Rousey will likely take us on the scenic route before arriving to the same destination.
It’s firmly understood that once Rousey gets her claws on Holm, the fight will be on the canvas in a matter of seconds and be over shortly after that. But I don’t see Rousey wanting to add Holm’s arm to her extensive collection.
At this stage in her illustrious career, having easily lapped the bantamweight field, Rousey wants a challenge. What better way to test herself than by going toe-to-toe with the best boxer in the division?
After this mauling, Rousey is expecting the naysayers will have nothing to say.