clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Winner's Circle! UFC 184 preview for 'Rousey vs. Zingano'

What could victory mean for Ronda Rousey, Cat Zingano, Holly Holm, and Raquel Pennington ahead of their respective headlining bouts this weekend (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California? ponders the consequences below.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set for an unprecedented pay-per-view (PPV) event this weekend (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) as the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, plays host to UFC 184: "Rousey vs Zingano," featuring the women's 135-pound division in the two marquee bouts of the evening.

UFC women's bantamweight titleholder Ronda Rousey will look to continue her dominance against arguably the toughest test of her young mixed martial arts (MMA) career as she faces off against Muay-Thai specialist Cat Zingano.

In the co-main event, the highly-touted Holly Holm makes her long awaited Octagon debut against a very durable and tough Raquel Pennington. Could a victory for the former boxing world champ mean a shot at UFC gold?

With a title on the line and a potential No. 1 contender's spot up for grabs, let's take a glimpse into the future and predict what a win could potentially do for the four marquee athletes at UFC 184.

Ronda Rousey

Movie starModel. Undefeated UFC champion.

Ronda Rousey has seemingly done it all in her short MMA career, and even though her outside distractions grow by the day, "Rowdy" seems to only just be breaking the surface of what she is truly capable of inside the Octagon.

Prior to looking ahead, you really must reflect and respect all that Rousey has done thus far. The former Strikeforce champ was the woman who changed Dana White's mind in regards to allowing women to fight inside the Octagon. Just about two years after her debut, UFC now boasts two women's divisions.

Amidst all of her other responsibilities, one thing has stayed constant throughout Rousey's MMA career, and that is the fact that she continues to kick ass and take names. In 10 career victories -- four inside the Octagon -- Rousey has finished each and every opponent, with only one making it out of the first round.

If "Rowdy" runs through Zingano this weekend at UFC 184, maybe she really will have to fight men as White joked earlier this month. In reality though, I suspect a bout with her rival Cris Cyborg is not too far off, and if it can't get done next, some other sacrificial lamb (perhaps Holly Holm?) will get thrown into the cage with Rousey next.

Cat Zingano

After all Cat Zingano has been through over the last couple of years, it is absolutely astonishing that she is about to fight for the UFC title against arguably the most dominant champion in the sport today.

After losing her husbandtearing her ACL, nearly getting finished by Amanda Nunes back at UFC 178, and a whole bunch of other obstacles to climb, "Alpha" has always come out on top, leading many people to believe that she won't simply wilt in front of Rousey.

Can Zingano get it done where every other woman has failed? Can she bully Rousey like she has to so many of her prior foes?

If the Colorado native gets the job done against the UFC champ this weekend, it will cap off one of the most incredible storylines in UFC history. After the victory? I suspect Ronda would get an immediate rematch, and boy would that be an incredible PPV event.

Holly Holm

Holly Holm's time to shine has finally arrived. Everyone in the MMA community is absolutely elated to see the former boxing champ take on some real competition inside the Octagon after vanquishing nameless foes in regional organizations.

In her first Octagon appearance, Holm is being granted a co-main event bout, and she better seize this moment or forever regret not making her mark in UFC.

A close decision victory won't be enough in my opinion to sway the public into wanting to see her throw down against Rousey later this year. If Holm wants a crack at UFC gold, she needs to put on an electric performance against Pennington on Saturday night.

With contenders dropping like flies as "Rowdy" dominates each opponent, Holm's opportunities continue to grow even before she has stepped foot inside UFC's Octagon.

Considering no one knows whether or not Cris Cyborg can make 135 pounds, a victory for Holm this weekend could catapult her into a title shot against the best female fighter on the planet.

Raquel Pennington

If anyone could steal Holly Holm's moment, it would be No. 14-ranked Raquel Pennington. Sure, she is 5-4 and has taken some tough losses in her career, but anyone who has watched "Rocky" throw down knows she means business.

Let's not sugarcoat this fight: Pennington is a huge underdog, and she will need a valiant performance in order to pick up the victory this weekend. Holm is hyped for a reason, and her striking is on a completely different level than the brawler in "Rocky."

Regardless, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran has shown off her chin a number of times, and showed an improved fight IQ in her submission victory over Ashlee Evans-Smith her last time out. While it won't be easy by any means, Pennington is very much a live dog in this fight.

If "Rocky" does come out of UFC 184 as the victor, her career would essentially change overnight. While I would not expect her to get a fight with Rousey next, she could find herself in a No. 1 contender's bout. If she doesn't leap that far, I sure would love to see Pennington throw down with Marion Reneau.

That's a wrap!

For more information on UFC 184: "Rousey vs Zingano," including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania