Ronda Rousey will once again be the heavy favorite when she steps in the Octagon tomorrow night (Sat., Aug.1, 2015) to defend her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's Bantamweight title against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 (preview and predictions here).
In fact, Rousey (11-0) is now the most heavily-favored champion of any title fight in the 22-year history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
"Rowdy" has been listed by Las Vegas odds makers by as much as a -1700 favorite for the main event, which takes place at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (full betting guide here).
Correia (9-0) is undefeated like the champion, and the Brazilian has won her first three fights in UFC, but does she have any chance against Rousey on Saturday night?
"Unfortunately not," says UFC on FOX analyst Kenny Florian. "I don't think so. Anything can happen in a fight, but I just think that Ronda -- and I keep saying this -- but I think she was born about 30 years too early. First of all, this is a woman that is so far ahead of everyone else athletically and I think experience-wise with what she's done in judo; Her mental approach; Her technical approach; Her focus; Her intensity.
"I think maybe Julianna Pena can match her intensity, but on a technical level, when she puts the whole package together there are just very few people on the planet that have what Ronda Rousey has. And the bad news is that she continues to evolve. So, she continues to pull ahead of everyone. It's kind of like having a slingshot against a bazooka. It's like, maybe, possibly, but at the end of the day she has a bazooka."
Rousey isn't just undefeated, she has won 10 of her 11 fights in the first round. Eight of those contests were finished inside the first minute, and four ended inside of 30 seconds, which is equal to the time it took her to defend her belt the last two times. The women's 135-pound champion has obliterated her competition and many experts feel it will be no different this time around.
The draw of a Rousey fight is very similar to Mike Tyson's during his dominant title reign in the mid- to late-80s. Many have made this comparison, and the former champion told ESPN recently he is reminded of that time when he watches Rousey fight. People aren't just paying their money for a UFC pay-per-view (PPV) to see the champion fight, they are plucking their money down to witness how she will dominate her competition.
They are expecting a victory, but they want to see it anyway because they don't know by which method she will use to achieve it. Rousey fans aren't concerned that her fights don't last very long, they want to see a dominant athlete dispatch of her latest foe in quick and swift fashion.
Her level of invincibility is magnetic, drawing interest from audiences far beyond that of just the hardcore mixed martial arts (MMA) fan base.
"I don't think there is anything wrong with that," Florian says. "I think there is an allure to that kind of dominance. We should be watching Ronda Rousey to see what she is going to do next. I think that is the kind of appeal. It's not necessarily that we are not tuning in to see Ronda in a fight and who is going challenge her. Me, myself, I'm watching to see how she is going to destroy her opponent. That's what is intriguing to me. How fast is she going to do it? How is she going to do it? And her evolution as a fighter."
Rousey's athleticism and skill level is far above her contemporaries in her weight class. That has long been apparent, but much of her competition has made things easier for the champion and judo Olympic medalist, by having a linear approach, lacking movement and the ability to avoid the clinch, where Rousey handles competition like a fly in spider's web.
Florian, 39, explained that even avoiding Rousey's best attributes are proving to be a difficult task because she is continuing to improve in all other areas of her overall game.
"It's tough because it does need to be somewhat of a varied approach," said Florian, who will co-host the UFC 190 pre- and post-fight shows on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday. "You can't just attack her on one front because she will just go to one of her other weapons in her arsenal.
"She will throw you on your head and now you are dealing with her submission skills. Now you are dealing with her power on the inside and she is mixing things up with elbows and kicks. She is adding all these things to her game as well, which she has been doing and will continue to do. It's such a difficult thing. I thought maybe it could be Sara McMann, but she struggled against other women in the division and it's just not going to happen. She gets stronger and stronger every fight. It's almost like pick your poison.
"The first time I went into Glendale Fight Club I had an opportunity to see Ronda. I think it was after the Liz Carmouche fight, I can't remember. The development of her boxing I said, 'my God Ronda no one has seen you slip like this.' She said, 'I know, I'm trying to keep it secret.' We didn't really get to see it against Cat Zingano. Cat kind of rushed out and it became a grappling match and she got put on her back. I think we are going to see her striking on full display here. I think she is going to go out there and look for the knockout and not only the speed, but she's devastating with the combinations she's throwing and the power in which she's throwing those shots. She just looks scarier and scarier."
With two Heavyweight fights on the main card, which are known to end quickly, will either of those fights end quicker than the main event between Rousey and Correia?
"I don't know," Florian laughed. "I think Ronda will probably end her fight quicker. I think Correia is durable, she is tough. I think she is not the kind of woman to back down. I just think Ronda is going to be that much better than her technically. I think she can finish the fight in a variety of ways and she can do it quickly. The speed advantage is huge. The power advantage.
"It's the same kind of range that Bethe likes to fight in and the same one Ronda likes to fight in. I think it would be a great achievement for her to get to the third round. It's hard to analyze these fights because I don't want to disrespect her opponent. I just think that Ronda is that good."I think she is going to get it done by TKO. I think she is going to be able to drop Correia and she will win by knockout."
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 190 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.