Ronda Rousey's Dominant Win over Alexis Davis Sets Stage for Cat Zingano Fight

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2014

Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey answers questions from reporters after defending her title against Sara McMann in the first round of the main event of UFC 170 at Mandalay Bay.  Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Ronda Rousey can at least make it look kind of close? At this point, the only challenger left for her to face is Cat Zingano.

The UFC women's bantamweight champion took all of 16 seconds to dispatch Alexis Davis on Saturday night. As Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter tweeted out, that was kind of fast:

It was the fastest fight of Rousey's career, per ESPN Stats and Info:

Talk about bang for the buck. ESPN's Darren Rovell estimates that Rousey earned at least $7,000 for every second of the fight. Not a bad gig if you can get it:

With that title challenge out of the way, she can begin focusing on the future, which surely includes a bout with Zingano. Nobody else in the bantamweight class makes a stronger case.

An injured knee cost Zingano her earlier shot at the champ, but now she's back to 100 percent.

"I’m not worried about it," she said, per Dann Stupp of MMAjunkie. "I got cleared a couple months ago to start training hard, and I’ve been doing just that since. So, I feel good. I’m strong. I’m really hitting it hard, and I’ve having a good time doing it."

April 13, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cat Zingano holds down Miesha Tate during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The 32-year-old is 8-0 in her career, with four wins coming by way of knockout/TKO and three via submission. Zingano beat Miesha Tate in her UFC debut back in April 2013. While she doesn't have quite the dominant record that Rousey does, she would likely be the toughest opponent Rousey's faced so far.

This is something Ronda and the UFC needs.

Her fights are almost becoming counterproductive for the company to a certain extent. How much longer will fans want to watch her in the Octagon when she's so far and away the best in her division? There at least needs to be some drama driving the narrative.

Give credit to Rousey, though, as she's played the villain perfectly. When you've distanced yourself so far from your competition, you need to do something to remain a compelling character. Simply being really good only goes so far.

That's why Floyd Mayweather remains the star that he is. He's built himself to be hated so much that people will pay to hopefully watch him get knocked on his rear end.

Rousey's largely followed the same blueprint. You can call her arrogant all you want. She backs it up. That swagger that she has isn't mere bluster. Even her biggest haters at the very least begrudgingly accept her in-ring acumen.

The biggest question now is how quickly UFC could put a Rousey-Zingano fight together. Rousey famously fought in UFC 168 and then less than two months later at UFC 170.

The Score's Blake Murphy wondered if she'd be able to go at UFC 176:

The pay-per-view is scheduled for August 2, which would leave Rousey with less than a month to prepare for a game challenger. Even she might have trouble with that.

Ideally, both fighters would be at their peak so as to create the best fight possible. You don't want one of the fighters—especially the champion—to enter with a built-in disadvantage.

When Rousey-Zingano does happen, it needs to be the biggest fight ever in the women's bantamweight division. And maybe, just maybe, it will be the night that Rousey's unbeatable facade comes tumbling down.