Undefeated Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, arguably the face of women’s mixed martial arts, will face perhaps the toughest foe of her career when she steps into the octagon with Cat Zingano at UFC 184 at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday. Rousey (10-0) and Zingano (9-0) are regarded as the sport's two best 135-pound fighters.
Rousey, 28, is known for her ability to win fights in convincing fashion. Just one of her fights has made it past the first round, and in her 10 wins, she has two TKOs and eight submissions. Her style is ferocious and powerful, and her armbar submission has been her most effective weapon. Rousey’s six armbar finishes across her UFC and Strikeforce competitions is the most in the combined history of the two organizations, according to MMA Junkie.
Rousey is not expected to breeze to a victory against Zingano. The 32-year-old Colorado native enters the fight with a great deal of confidence.
"I just knew it was a matter of action and a matter of time," Zingano said in the lead up to the fight. "What's in me is un-nameable. I don’t know how to describe it to you guys. But I am just confident and I know what I'm capable of and no one has still seen it. The potential that's there for me as an athlete and a fighter is still showing its face barely. Giving the time and obviously the right opportunity, this is right where I'm supposed to be."
“Alpha” may have reason to be confident going into the bout. Of her nine bouts, five have been decided by TKO and three through submissions. Zingano also has returned triumphantly from an ACL injury and crushing personal struggles. Her husband took his own life near the couple’s home in Denver more than a year ago. She described to Yahoo Sports the struggle of moving forward with her life and taking care of her eight-year-old son Brayden.
“I don't know how many people have gone through struggles like this or are experiencing it now, but it's unique and in an odd sense, enlightening,” Zingano said. “Once you feel this kind of pain and suffer this kind of thing, it brings you to a different understanding of what life is about and what's important and who's important."
Zingano has re-doubled her efforts in the gym and enters the bout with confidence and poise.
The pay-per-view event will be a test for both fighters and might be the most anticipated women's mixed-martial arts bout in the sport's short history.
Rousey, who will be making her sixth bantamweight championship defense, is the favorite with her line set at -800 while Zingano’s line is +500, according to bovada.lv.