After watching women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey dispatch Sara McMann in just over a minute at UFC 170, fans wondered if the shallow division could produce a threat to her crown. Alexis Davis, whose strongest appeal may be that's she's yet to face Rousey, hasn't inspired much confidence we're not in store for more of the same. As far as someone knocking Rousey off her perch, UFC commentator Kenny Florian doesn't see a true contender rising anytime soon.
"She keeps getting better," Florian told AfterBuzz TV. "She's getting more comfortable in the Octagon. Man, honestly? No, I don't. Not at 135 pounds. I don't see it happening. She is a beast in all aspects. A lot of it comes from the mental level. There's very few people who even understand that realm that she's at. It's scary."
With legitimate challengers in short supply, we may have to settle for intrigue. UFC president Dana White's recent meeting with Gina Carano didn't produce a deal, but his optimism in signing her makes you believe we'll see her in the Octagon before too long. Should she make that debut against Rousey? Florian doesn't think so.
"It's a lot to ask. It's a lot to ask of any athlete to have years of not preparing for a fight. Years of Ronda Rousey getting better. Gina's been so focused on making movies and other things. It's a lot to ask of Gina to go, 'OK. Here, we're going to feed you Ronda Rousey.' That's a tough thing. I would like to see Gina compete against someone else."
In a year of healthy champions being at a premium the low hanging fruit may be too tempting to pass up. Even so, Florian isn't sure the hype will deliver.
"I think Gina is very talented. I think she's very good. I think that would be a huge fight if she got signed by the UFC. Quite possibly the biggest fight you can make in the UFC right now, men or women. But here's the problem with Ronda Rousey. She is so damn talented and has so many years competing at this level for years. Here's a girl that at 16 years old was on a plane cutting weight for the world championships or the Olympics.
"To have that mental mindset is a complete different level that few male athletes in the UFC understand. You have the Yoel Romero's, Daniel Cormier. Guys who have been there. It's a complete different level when you're talking about the Olympics."
Rousey defends her title to Alexis Davis in the co-main event of UFC 175 on Jul.5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
It's Tuesday, so make sure to check out The MMA Hour featuring Danny Castillo, Blackzilians coach Henri Hooft, Demetrious Johnson, American Kickboxing Academy coach Javier Mendez, Jake Shields, Chuck Liddell and Yancy Medeiros.
Dana's UFC 172 vlog.
Behind the scenes at UFC Fox 11 with American Top Team.
Nice breakdown of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Yoel Romero's wrestling.
RIP Hurricane Carter.
Jon Jones on Crowd Goes Wild.
Jimi Manuwa gets his purple belt and runs the gauntlet.
These men are wildin out on this conference call with the ufc. Never laughed so much on a call with fighters.
— Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) April 21, 2014
@BradTavares I want to FIGHT ASAP. Speak to the bosses. I've never turned anyone down.
— michael (@bisping) April 21, 2014
Someone needs to take him up on it.
@NotoriousNewell ;) and really if you want to train with best wrestlers of the world.I invite you to Dagestan
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 21, 2014
On my way to LA for audition, hopefully you will see me soon on TV:) then meeting with my mngt/Hollywood Agent & ghostwriter, busy day!!
— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) April 21, 2014
Yeah... Ya know, I'm gonna forgive this one. Perhaps I wasn't clear. Moving forward, if I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.
— chael sonnen (@sonnench) April 22, 2014
This UFC featherweight division is STACKED.... with a who's who of rookies.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 22, 2014
When u think ur invincible like @travisbrowneMMA that's what's goin to happen.no1 in this sport is invincible..your game will be found out!
— STORMIN NORMAN PARKE (@norman_parke) April 22, 2014
Andre Fili (@TouchyFili) April 21, 2014
Announced yesterday (Apr. 21 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.
While the main event didn't produce a finish that seemed to be guaranteed, it wasn't a stinker and the rest of the main card delivered exactly as expected.
All of you not from Fabricio Werdum's family or camp that expected him to thoroughly outstrike Travis Browne raise your hands. Alright you liars, put them down. Werdum could not have picked a better point in his career to peak than at this point. The main stage of a free nationally televised event to earn the #1 contendership... yeah, I think it worked out really well for him. He may not have been able to finish Browne, but Browne showed great toughness and submission defense to go the full distance. Werdum also showed good endurance and that may have been the biggest key in the fight. Once Browne tired, he wasn't nearly the threat he was early on to put an end to the fight with just one strike. Now Werdum gets to challenge Cain Velazquez for the heavyweight title next and he looks to be a more viable contender than Junior Dos Santos did heading into his last fight with Velazquez.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.