Ronda Rousey is—for lack of a better way to put it—heading into her toughest challenge to date when she faces Cat Zingano in Los Angeles for the main fight of the UFC 184 card, which lost its Chris Weidman versus Vitor Belfort fight for the middleweight title and now features another women’s bout as the co-headliner. Holly Holm is set to make her Ultimate Fighting Championship debut versus Raquel Pennington.
Ronda Rousey is the most dominant woman in all of the sport, and one of the most dominant athletes mixed martial arts can boast about having in its ranks. She’s so raw in the Octagon that Dana White said that if her bout versus Black House MMA’s Cat Zingano is a mere walk in the park, she might have to fight men. It was a joke, but one of those jokes that makes you question the absurdity of such a statement. It’s not that absurd. Ronda is fantastic—of her four UFC fights up to this point, she’s won three of them in the first round. Of her 10 professional mixed martial arts contests, she’s won 9 in the first round. Only Miesha Tate made it to the third round with Ronda. But Cat is a tough fighter herself, and is also undefeated in her career, and she’s finished eight of her nine opponents to date.
As you know, Ronda’s go-to finishing move is the armbar. She’s finished Miesha Tate (twice), Liz Carmouche, Sarah Kaufman, Julia Budd, Sarah D’Alelio, Charmaine Tweet—who fights Rousey’s arch-nemesis Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino the night before UFC 184 at Invicta FC 11—and Ediane Gomes by armbar. That’s 80% of all her career wins.
It would be surprising, but maybe you didn’t know, that before becoming MMA’s top female competitor and one of the UFC’s top stars, Ronda was a judoka. From age 11 onwards, she made appearances and collected wins and medals in the top competitions around the world, including the olympics. She’s a six-time USA Senior National Champion and in the 2008 Summer Olympics won the a bronze medal for the U.S.
This past weekend, the bantamweight champ visited the Rafael and Guilherme Mendes’ gym, the Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy. In there, she ran into retired legend B.J. Penn, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, with whom she hit the tatami to sharpen her ground game in front of two of the most prominent jiu jitsu guys in the game.
Check out the video above, which was filmed by Roots of Fight.
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