Rousey vs. Carmouche: Are There Legitmate Contenders for Ronda Rousey's Title?
Rousey finished her seventh opponent by first-round armbar in as many fights.
But Carmouche was expected to be a walkover—beneath much tougher challengers Rousey has already faced and dispensed of.
There are at present only six fighters in the UFC’s women’s division. Two of them Rousey has now beaten. Another two have had less than eight fights in their entire careers. That leaves 11-5 Alexis Davis, who just beat Shayna Baszler, as the likely next contender to fight Rousey.
But Davis is hardly Rousey’s equal. Her performances have been nowhere near as dominant, and she was beaten twice by Sarah Kaufman—a woman who couldn’t last more than 54 seconds in the cage with Rousey.
Surveying the landscape of female MMA, there aren’t many legitimate contenders for Rousey left to face in the UFC —let alone the whole of the sport. There’s Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, for instance, but she’s currently tied up with Invicta and refuses to drop to 135 pounds to fight for Rousey’s bantamweight belt.
There’s also Miesha Tate. A storied female fighter herself with notable victories over Julie Kedzie and Marloes Coenen. She lost to Rousey when the pair met last March in a match which generated plenty of personal animosity. And while a rematch could sell seats, it's unlikely Tate will pose any more of a challenge to Rousey than her last defeat.
Rousey is too good right now. She is head-and-shoulders above any other woman fighting at 135 pounds, and the headache for the UFC now is finding any worthy opponents for her.
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