By Elias Cepeda
MMA fans have always wondered what would happen if the sport grew to the point where it could attract the types of elite athletes that have historically gone to, say, the NFL or the Olympics. Surely once that happened, we’d see a marked rise in athleticism and potential in the sport we all love.
Well, that new breed of elite MMA athlete has arrived. He isn’t the dominant and other worldly athletic Jon Jones. He isn’t the pound for pound great and all-around lethal weapon Georges St. Pierre. She’s Ronda Rousey.
The Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion successfully defended her title again Saturday night against Sarah Kaufman. In about the last year and half the Olympic Judo bronze medalist Rousey has had her first six professional fights, winning all six by arm bar in the first round.
Kaufman couldn’t last a minute in the cage with Rousey before being forced to tap out. The thing is, Kaufman is a damn good fighter. So is Miesha Tate, Rousey’s prior victim.
Kaufman is a former champion and has only lost twice in her career. Tate has only lost three times. Both women have almost three times the professional MMA experience as Rousey.
“Rowdy” Ronda isn’t perfectly well-rounded yet. She hasn’t been tested in a fight yet and she simply hasn’t fought nearly as much as the women she faces. But she’s been able to dominate them all because she brings a lifetime of doing a couple things at a higher level than even most MMA champions have ever done anything.