Wow. Ronda Rousey was impressive at UFC 184 even for someone who is always impressive. There just aren’t enough superlatives to describe the MMA fighter who remains the undefeated women’s bantamweight champion after defeating Cat Zingano last night in a mere 14 seconds. A fight that wasn’t even the length of a vine.
Zingano, who many believed was a credible challenge, immediately charged Rousey and knocked her down to start the fight, only to submit seconds later when Rousey turned the tables and locked her in an inverted armbar. The entire scene, which could easily be missed if you were momentarily distracted, left viewers speechless.
My neighborhood pub, which showed the fight on multiple big screens, was the perfect viewing venue. A small portion of the Saturday night regulars were MMA fans – but most were there for the selection of artisan whiskeys, convivial company and gourmet bar eats. For me, the coolest part of the night was watching every single patron – male, female, young and old – riveted by Rousey. The entire place started buzzing when Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington entered the Octagon and while some were initially skeptical of a chick fight, the crowd was quickly transfixed. By the time Rousey’s walkout song played, everyone in the place was a fight fan. Those familiar with Rousey quickly became Yodas to the uninitiated and I don’t think there was a single eye in the place looking anywhere but at the TV screens when the fight began.
Despite the length of the match (it was tied, according to UFC, for the fastest submission in UFC history and was the fastest win in a UFC title fight) it was enough to turn the tide for any skeptics. And I think it also turned many non-fight fans into supporters of women’s MMA. There wasn’t a person who walked out of the bar last night who wasn’t now familiar with Rousey and what a beast she is. It appears she’s simply unstoppable and her next fight will be followed not only by every patron in the bar but by every friend, co-worker and family member they told about the match. Word of mouth is always the best advertising.
Looking ahead, Rousey said:
“I was really impressed with Holly Holm tonight, I always like to test myself against that level of striking,” Rousey said. “And Bethe Correia, she’s undefeated, I’d like to take that ‘0′ away from her.”
We’ll be waiting and watching.