Cat Zingano was going to be the biggest threat Ronda Rousey has ever faced, they said. She's undefeated, she has an endless reservoir of willpower, and she'll push Rousey like she's never pushed before.
Instead, Zingano became the fastest victim of Rousey's magnificent career.
The only women's bantamweight champion in UFC history retained her title in a mere 14 seconds on Saturday night. Cementing her legend as the women's combat sports answer to the prime Mike Tyson, Rousey capitalized on a Zingano mistake and retained her title via straight armbar in the main event of UFC 184 at her hometown Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
"We were expecting she might come out and do something flying at me right away," said Rousey (11-0). "I originally thought I was going to check a left hook, but she did that instead. I was working on that behind-the-arm armbar, not that kind of angle, but hey, it works."
Zingano (9-1) came flying out at Rousey and went for a takedown. Rousey rolled with it in transition and managed to trap Zingano in the awkwardly angled armbar, causing the quick tap.
The victory added to Rousey's growing legend of ridiculous accomplishments. It was her 10th first-round victory in 11 fights. It was her ninth win with a variation of an armbar. It was her eighth sub-one-minute win. It was tied for the fastest submission in UFC history and was the fastest sub in a UFC title fight. And it beat her UFC 175 win over Alexis Davis for the fastest win in Rousey's career.
Zingano, for her part, was disconsolate after her first career lost.
"I want to do it again, just, f---," Zingano said. "She f------ won, she did it."
The question from here remains, who does Rousey meet next? She has a couple suggestions.
"I was really impressed with Holly Holm tonight, I always like to test myself against that level of striking," Rousey said. "And Bethe Correia, she's undefeated, I'd like to take that ‘0' away from her."