With each passing title defense, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's Bantamweight titleholder Ronda Rousey reaches new levels of mixed martial arts (MMA) stardom.
First and foremost, it is her skills in Judo that led to "Rowdy's" first world title in Strikeforce and the subsequent UFC belt. However, five title defenses and two years later, it is Rousey's hands that are doing most of the talking.
Rousey has downed two women, Sara McMann and Alexis Davis, with strikes in 2014. Now her coach, Glendale Fight Club's Edmond Tarverdyan, believes that his pupil can beat the best in the world in the squared circle.
"I know she can do it," Tarverdyan told MMA Fighting. "I know she wins the boxing world title. Ronda has nothing to prove to me. I know what kind of fighter I have on my hands."
The 28-year-old Rousey will come into her showdown with outspoken No. 1 contender Bethe Correia a sizeable favorite.
"Pitbull's" strongest attribute? Her striking.
Rousey is not just a dominant fighter because she is multi-faceted, but also because of her ability to adapt once in the cage. Her intelligence speaks volumes as she has countered the early attacks of Davis and, most recently, Cat Zingano at UFC 184.
Correia, experienced and undefeated at 9-0, sits at No. 5 in the women's bantamweight rankings, but has yet to face anyone with a credible Octagon resume. Her hit list, while impressive, pales somewhat in comparison to that of potential future opponents for Rousey.
Cris Cyborg, who will be in attendance at UFC 190 to support Correia, has been campaigning to fight Rousey, and though it looks like some road blocks have been overcome, it appears that her lasting wish is a 140-pound catchweight meeting with the latter. Cyborg, who is the Invicta FC women's featherweight champion, similarly to Rousey, makes would-be challengers seem way out of her league, having taken out her last two opponents in a combined 91 seconds.
That still does not beat the record held by Rousey with 30 seconds of Octagon time total in consecutive title defenses.
"Ronda spars with boxing world champions that punch way harder than Cyborg," said Tarverdyan. "Ronda has never lost a round in the gym. A round. With boxing world champions. What is Cyborg?"
Holly Holm is another high-profile name quietly compiling an Octagon resume worthy of challenging Rousey. The former 18-time world champion in boxing has notched wins over Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau in 2015, following a torrid 7-0 run outside of UFC.
Holm's performances over Pennington and Reneau did not do much to help her cause for a title shot -- and she is okay with that -- leaving her with some more work to do.
"I think Ronda beats Holly Holm in a boxing match any given day, so it doesn't matter," said Tarverdyan.
All the commotion regarding who Rousey fights next is null and void until she rids herself of Correia, which is still a dangerous task.
Just look at the times in which certain fighters, who were previously thought to be impenetrable, were brought down to Earth via untimely mistakes like Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva. Or those, like former Bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who could not adapt to the complex offensive arsenal of current 135-pound kingpin T.J. Dillashaw.
Dragging things out might not be the brightest idea, Ms. Rousey.
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