There’s something inherently amazing about a specialist. Being able to pull off a submission or a striking technique time and time again against fighters who know exactly what’s coming and exactly what must be done to avoid it is a mystifying thing. Quite rightly, the blame on the opponents is often shunned and in its place comes admiration for the victor – no doubt Kaufman knows how to defend an armbar, but she was as helpless against it as the other eight opponents that have faced Rousey in the realm of MMA.
The only problem with having a fighter so dominant is that it can often stagnate a division. Less than a month ago, at UFC on FOX 4, Brandon Vera fought for a potential title shot. This, in the Light Heavyweight division – a division that up until a prodigy took it over was considered one of the deepest in MMA. Depth is unfortunately not a quality many would assign to the Women’s Bantamweight division.
The reason for this dearth of depth is two-fold. Women’s MMA lacks the exposure that the male divisions have so long enjoyed with the UFC and other events. This is changing, with Rousey’s breakthrough into the mainstream as well as upstart promotions such as Invicta helping to fill the hole in WMMA. However, another issue is the lack of viable challengers to Ronda Rousey. Barring Cyborg sawing off a leg to make 135 pounds, there are few challengers for the Judo Olympian. While there are some intriguing matches to be made in the future of the division (the prospect of Olympic Judo Bronze Medallist Ronda Rousey facing off with Olympic Wrestling Silver Medallist Sara McMann is a fight almost too good to not make), the lack of proper opponents will mean underprepared fighters will be thrust too early into a championship bout against Rousey and suffer the same fate as all her other opponents. This will not only cause watchers to quickly become bored, but will also destroy any interest in a future matchup between the two, perhaps one where they match up more evenly.
What I suggest may seem extreme, but would provide maximum depth for a division in sore need of challengers.