The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Women’s Bantamweight title was on the line as the enduring Cat Zingano faced off against infamous judoka Ronda Rousey at UFC 184.
Zingano, long the number one contender, waited through personal hardship, injuries, and perhaps some of the most emotionally-devastating impediments any human being could meet.
The death of her husband by his own hand made what appeared to be nothing more than a spell of injury something more. Zingano needed to rediscover herself, return to the octagon.
She delivered a third round TKO win in her September 2014 comeback fight against Amanda Nunes.
Ronda Rousey, 11-0, isn’t Amanda Nunes. She has a lethal armbar, evolved striking, and monstrous takedowns packed into her 5’7 frame. By no comparison, Zingano was the best opponent she faced thus far.
This was going to be a great fight, or a great finish, and a great chapter to one of these fighters’ career, her legacy.
And, it was.
Cat Zingano sprinted out to center cage to knee Rousey. She wanted the takedown, and to start the UFC 184 showdown with the momentum.
Ronda Rousey wouldn’t allow it. She held onto that takedown, found the arm, and took it home with an armbar submission fourteen seconds in.
The # 1 contender, just another win for “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Just another amazing win for the Women’s Bantamweight titlist.
Having defeated each of the top five fighters at Bantamweight, Rousey stated post-fight that she wanted Holly Holm — for her striking attributes — and Bethe Correia, the unbeaten Brazilian.
Zingano expressed her desire for a rematch in her emotional post-fight speech. She wasn’t satisfied having lost in such sudden and dramatic fashion.
For now, for a while, Rousey remains champion. It is hard to imagine it any other way.