Cat Zingano can now be added to the expanding list of women who have tried and failed to best Ronda Rousey in the Octagon. "Rowdy" dispatched her latest contender Saturday via first-round submission in the main event from the Staples Center in Los Angeles at UFC 184.
And she barely broke a sweat doing it.
MMA Junkie tweeted out the official result:
Zingano immediately came across the cage looking to take down the champion, which she did successfully, but the champion did what she does best and put Zingano in an armbar before most in attendance and watching around the world could discern what was happening.
The Alpha Cat's aggressive start was something that Rousey thought she might see from the contender, per Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times:
The lightning-quick finish was notable for more than one reason. According to ESPN Stats & Info and the UFC's Twitter page, the result set a few records:
Zingano had a difficult time hiding her disappointment in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, via MMA Fighting:
Even after the heat of the moment subsided, she was trying to find out who she'll need to fight to earn this opportunity again, per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting:
As for the champion's immediate plans? Well, those are a little more non-traditional, according to Dana White via Damon Martin of Fox Sports:
The win is yet another testament to the dominance that Rousey has displayed in the Octagon. Last year, she spent one minute and 22 seconds in two fights combined defending her belt. Now she's started off 2015 by defeating one of the few women left in the division who conceivably had a shot at dethroning her.
There's no mistaking it: Zingano was the clear-cut No. 1 contender heading into this bout. Her third-round finish of Miesha Tate remains one of the better displays of cardio and power since the creation of the division in the UFC.
But even that kind of performance pales in comparison to what Rousey has been able to do in the Octagon.
Now the question becomes: Who's next? And how long can this domination continue?
If Rousey has her way, her reign won't stop until she considers herself the best of all time, per Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com:
Definitely it's a goal of mine... Whether I achieve that or not, whether or not people perceive it one way or another has nothing to do with the accomplishment. I'll know when I reach the point, like "OK, I'm the most dominant and the greatest of all time." I know that I'm there and I'll be ready to hang up my gloves and move on. But whether or not anyone else sees it that way doesn't matter. Because I'll see it that way.
At this rate, where she's ranked on the pound-for-pound rankings is an interesting question. Jon Jones currently resides at No. 1 in the rankings. The undefeated women's bantamweight champion came into this bout at No. 7.
With another win over one of the best in her division, a move up the ladder is justified.
That doesn't mean she's seen the end of worthy challengers, though. Interesting possibilities still exist for Rousey, including a dream fight of sorts against Invicta featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.
Even if the Cyborg fight never materializes, women's MMA is still growing. Holly Holm's bout with Raquel Pennington may have been underwhelming—Dana White feels she is still a few fights away from challenging Rousey, according to Greg Beacham of The Associated Press, but more contenders (and stars) will arise:
One might even reach the notoriety and cachet that Rousey has built. Until then, it looks like Rousey is more than willing to continue carrying the torch for the sport.