UFC 170

UFC 170 Results: 3 Fights for Ronda Rousey to Take Next

Ronda Rousey reacts after defeating Sara McMann following a UFC 170 mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title bout on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2014

Ronda Rousey put away challenger Sara McMann with a knee to the body, and Bruce Buffer had to announce, “And still...” at UFC 170.

The champion continues her reign of dominance. The question now shifts to who's next?

The bantamweight division is not the deepest in the UFC, but there are options for the UFC matchmakers to consider. Rousey will go off to film two movies, giving them time to assess their options.

Rousey made mention in the Fox Sports post-fight interview that she would like to return to action in late summer.

Here are three females the UFC can select for Rousey's next fight.

 

Cris Justino

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

This is the least likely option, and it is an option the UFC should put out of its misery—at least right now. However, it is an option because it is the fight the fans want. That should never go overlooked for a promoter.

Cyborg is one of the top women in the sport, but she is not even signed to the UFC. Nor has she proved she can drop to 135 pounds.

The UFC could always sign her, but considering the above, she shouldn't be an option. UFC president Dana White confirmed as much in his Fox Sports interview by saying she needs to fight a couple of times at 135 outside the UFC first.

The fans give a hard time to the UFC for pushing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) users on their cards, but they clamor for the UFC to give an immediate title shot to Cyborg, who tested positive for steroids just three fights ago. Fans are hypocritical.

Regardless, because of their fervor for the matchup, it should be at least talked about.

 

Alexis Davis

Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jessica Eye (blue gloves) attempts to block a kick from Alexis Davis (red gloves) during their UFC bantamweight bout at Mandalay Bay. Davis won by split decision.  Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Davis inched by Jessica Eye at UFC 170 with a split decision victory. The meeting between two top-five bantamweights should put Davis on the cusp of a title shot.

The skilled submission artist would be a steep underdog. Nevertheless, the fact remains that she has earned the right for a title shot. With five straight wins and being ranked in the top three of the division, she has put herself in the title talk.

Davis should be next in line behind Cat Zingano.

 

Cat Zingano

April 13, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ronda Rousey (left) poses for photographs with Cat Zingano following the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Zingano is the top-ranked challenger in the division, and she earned her title shot by defeating Miesha Tate in early 2013.

Injuries forced Zingano out of action, but she is still ranked as the top challenger. If healthy, she should be next in line.

As Davis inserted herself as another top contender, the UFC has options. If Zingano is not in peak form, it can go with Davis and allow Zingano to knock off the dust against someone else, or it can have Davis sit and fight the winner of Rousey-Zingano.

Zingano is a very interesting challenger to Rousey.

She is a good athlete with very good jiu-jitsu. She is continuing to develop her striking, but what makes her striking an interesting challenge for Rousey is that Zingano possesses real power. She can do damage with her fists, knees and legs.

The UFC has two top quality bantamweights signed and ready for their title shots. It's up to it to decide in which order they challenge.

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