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Making the Case for Ronda Rousey as the Pound-for-Pound Best in MMA

Matheus Honorato@@MatheusmhContributor IIIApril 30, 2015

Is Ronda Rousey the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC?
Is Ronda Rousey the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC?Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Over the past few years, only Jon Jones and Jose Aldo have been nearly as dominant over their divisions in the UFC as Ronda Rousey has.

Despite recent off-the-Octagon issues, Jones is still undeniably the best mixed martial artist in the organization. While Aldo is just a monster when he steps into that cage.

Before Jones’ car accident, those two were, respectively, No. 1 and No. 2 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. Rousey, on the other hand, was stuck in sixth place, behind Demetrious Johnson, Chris Weidman and Cain Velasquez.

Now, why should Rousey be ranked above all these champions?

The answer is simple: Because none of them takes care of business like she does.

It takes only a glimpse at her fighting record to understand how dominant Rousey is.

Since touching ground with the UFC in Feb. 2013, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist relentlessly took out every obstacle Dana White sent her way.

In UFC 157, the first women’s title bout the organization ever hosted, it took less than one round for Rousey to defeat Liz Carmouche with an armbar submission. It was the same fate for all of her six previous opponents (and Jimmy Fallon) she faced.

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

In Carmouche’s defense, she was the first fighter not named Miesha Tate to survive more than a minute against the champ.

After claiming the belt, Rousey defended it four times.

Her first title defense was a rematch against Tate, who proved to be as close to a test as Rousey would ever get. They went three rounds, but in the end Tate’s fate was the same as all those who preceded her. An armbar submission.

After that Rousey seemed to dislike the idea of staying in the octagon for more than a round. So she made quick work of those who came after Tate.

Sara McMann went down in a minute. Alexis Davis in 16 seconds. And Rousey’s latest hit, Cat Zingano, fell to an armbar in 14 seconds.

How can anybody deny Rousey’s greatness?

Now here is where some would question and say that because she fights in a women’s division, Rousey shouldn’t be featured in a pound-for-pound ranking with the men’s divisions.

For those who have that mentality, reading at least the beginning of this Jeff Wagenheim SI.com article might do some good.

With that out of the way, time to analyze the other contenders.

Aldo has moved up to No. 1 since Jones was taken out of the rankings.

The Brazilian’s greatness, like Rousey’s, is undeniable. His 25-1 record speaks for itself.

However, he had to go all five rounds over his last couple fights. And this upcoming July 11 bout against the notorious Conor McGregor is raising many eyebrows.

Mighty Mouse Johnson has been on the rise as of late. The flyweight champ showed UFC fans how speed kills.

Since earning the belt in a split decision against Joseph Benavidez in 2012, Johnson defended his title six times. Four of those fights reached the fifth round.

Even though his eye-opening Round 1 knockout of Benavidez in their rematch was entertaining, Johnson’s dominance is still not as undisputed as Rousey’s.

Chris Weidman did take Anderson Silva out twice. But after going five rounds with Lyoto Machida, it might be better to wait and see how he does against Vitor Belfort on May 23 before throwing him in a pound-for-pound No. 1 conversation.

Same goes for Cain Velasquez. The last time the heavyweight champ stepped inside the Octagon was October 2013.

Velasquez has an upcoming bout against red-hot interim champion Fabricio Werdum June 13. The result of that matchup will make or break the champ’s pound-for-pound stock.

Taking all of that in account, it might be time to recognize who, in the absence of Jones, is really the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.

"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey.