Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) put on an incredible night of fights last evening (Feb. 28, 2015) live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, and even though the event was crippled by injuries in the weeks leading up, all the fighters that made it to fight night delivered excellent action.
UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey somehow topped her unbelievable 16 second knockout victory over Alexis Davis last summer by finishing the formerly unbeaten Cat Zingano via armbar just 14 seconds into the first round of the main event (recap here). "Rowdy's" victory improved her record to an unblemished 11-0, and it sure seems like she has no competition left in UFC's 135-pound women's division.
In the co-main event, Holly Holm put on an impressive performance by defeating The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Raquel Pennington via split decision in an interesting fight. The former Boxing champion admitted that trying to live up to the hype may have hindered her performance, but it was a big win for "The Preacher's Daughter" in her UFC debut.
Biggest Winner: Ronda Rousey
There is nothing bad you can you say about Ronda Rousey.
Okay, maybe we would all like to see her fight for more than 20 seconds, but other than that, "Rowdy" is simply beating the brakes off her opponents with jaw-dropping ease and violence.
The UFC women's bantamweight champ is easily the most dominant in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, and she definitely threw her name into the ringer for the pound-for-pound discussion after her 14 second armbar over Cat Zingano.
Dana White joked before UFC 184 that if "Rowdy" runs through Zingano she would have to start fighting men because he would have no idea what to do with her next. With yet another awe-inspiring victory, it won't be long before fans are seriously going to wonder what would happen if Rousey was put into the cage against a man.
Rousey is simply impeccable, and there is absolutely no one in UFC's women's bantamweight division today that would be able to dethrone her.
Now raise your hand if you want to see the UFC champ take on Cris Cyborg next.
Runners-up: Tony Ferguson
"El Cucuy" made a major statement to the lightweight division at UFC 184 with his fifth straight Octagon victory -- four of which have come via finish.
Ferguson showed why he was give the opening slot on the PPV, easily dispatching of UFC veteran Gleison Tibau via rear-naked choke in under three minutes in highlight-reel fashion. Even though the TUF season 13 winner is not yet ranked, you can expect to see Ferguson fight a top 10 opponent his next time out.
The California native just continues to improve, and with a penchant for finishes, "El Cucuy" has a real opportunity to skyrocket up the lightweight ladder in 2015.
Out of everyone on the UFC 184 card, no one needed a victory more than welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger.
Somehow ranked No. 11 following three straight losses, the "Juggernaut" was on the verge of losing his UFC roster spot heading into Saturday night's PPV event.
Channeling his former violent self, Ellenberger strangled the life out of former No. 1 contender Josh Koscheck -- literally making "Kos" foam at the mouth as he tapped out.
While I don't want to see Ellenberger fighting the cream of the crop the welterweight division has to offer just yet, his victory was a solid step in the right direction for the former knockout machine. With his hands looking better each fight and his timidness seemingly waning, the dangerous "Juggernaut" may be back on track.
Biggest Loser: Cat Zingano
There is not much to say about Cat Zingano's performance at UFC 184 other than it was underwhelming and unfortunate.
In hindsight, it was not a very good idea for "Alpha" to charge at the Olympic judoka Rousey, as it only took the champ 14 seconds to armbar the No. 1 contender. Had Zingano rushed Rousey and stunned the champion, we would have been praising her audacity today, but that is not the way the cookie crumbled.
No longer undefeated, Zingano will have to win a handful of marquee fights before she gets another crack at Rousey, but I would certainly be more interested in seeing "Alpha" rematch "Rowdy" down the line over either Alexis Davis, Sara McMann, or Miesha Tate again.
In the end, it just wasn't Cat Zingano's night.
Runners-up: Josh Koscheck
Gargle. Gargle. Gargle.
That's all I can think about following Koscheck's horrific submission loss to Jake Ellenberger in his Octagon return at UFC 184. After a solid first minute and a half flashing a stiff jab, the former No. 1 contender felt "Juggernaut's" power and immediately retreated into a defensive shell that ultimately cost him the fight.
Unfortunately for "Kos," the loss to Ellenberger is his fourth straight -- three of which were via finish -- and while I don't see UFC outright releasing the TUF season 1 veteran, I suspect he may decide to retire after his performance this past weekend.
Speaking of retiring....
Mark Munoz has lost four of his last five fights, three in a row, and all four losses were via finish.
After having a bad weight-cut for UFC 184 that saw the "Filipino Wrecking Machine" come in over the middleweight limit on his first attempt, it was evident the 37-year old was not fighting at 100% in the "Prelims" main event, and Roan Carneiro made him pay dearly.
The Brazilian simply ran through Munoz, submitting the former top ranked contender in under two minutes via rear-naked choke.
It was brutal, it was vicious, and it was glorious all at the same time; Well not for Munoz of course.
While I am sure UFC brass would have loved to feature Munoz on the upcoming Manila, Philippines card, I suspect we may have seen his last performance inside the Octagon at UFC 184.
For complete results from UFC 184: "Rousey vs. Zingano" click here.