Last weekend, top-ranked women’s bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko submitted second-ranked Julianna Pena with an armbar at UFC on FOX 23. The win cemented Shevchenko as the No. 1 contender to Amanda Nunes bantamweight title, setting up a rematch later in the year. When that fight happens, it will mark a turning point in the division: the first time that women’s bantamweight will have a title fight outside of the immediate shadow of Ronda Rousey.
Rousey was the original bantamweight kingpin, responsible for its creation in the UFC and the unstoppable ruler for two years until being unseated by Holly Holm. After Holm knocked out Rousey, the title was fought for twice more but both times the promise of a Rousey remained. Rousey did eventually return only to be eviscerated by Nunes in under a minute, leaving her return to fighting in question and her status as a top contender shaky. And though the division is now free to carry on without her, her profile and star power still loom large.
Rousey is still the topic of much debate and interest among the mainstream media and recently, in an interview with TMZ, UFC light heavyweight champion and FOX studio analyst Daniel Cormier was asked about Rousey’s future in the sport and a potential comeback from the former champion; he was less than optimistic.
“Can she be the person that she was a couple of years ago? I don’t believe so. This game has evolved to a point that it would be very difficult, especially if your game is limited. Again, I love Ronda, but her boxing doesn’t seem to have improved. She doesn’t kick - I don’t think she’s really kicked - so to have to go out there and really throw somebody down and grapple with them, I don’t know if that works anymore. I think that Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko ... they’ve showed how much this level has gone up in female fighting in a very short period of time.”
Rousey is an Olympic bronze medalist judoka and built her initial success off of her grappling game and her infamous armbar. She began to compliment her grappling credentials with an effective striking game, the combination of which led her to a streak of four fights with a combined fight time of two minutes and 10 seconds. Her striking game did not hold up under scrutiny though as she was thoroughly out-boxed in her last two losses. Cormier believes this weakness in her game puts a ceiling on Rousey’s future in the sport, restricting her from reaching the dominant heights she once made home.
“Can she go in there and win some fights? Yes. Can she beat women in 10 seconds, 19 seconds, 38 seconds? I think those days are gone. That’s not happening anymore, everybody’s too well-rounded.”
Results. Here are all the results from this weekend’s UFC event.
Boxing. Conor McGregor says he’s confident his next fight will be a boxing match.
50-0. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. says hand and McGregor should “give the fans what they want.”
Contracts. Dana White says if McGregor and Mayweather try and promote a match without him it will be “an epic fall.”
Champion. Conor McGregor says both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson would be “knocked out stiff.”
Master. Valentina Shevchenko says Julianna Pena is a “good fighter but I’m a master.”
CM Punk angling for that return.
Werdum talking about his work with Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen President with a very checkered past.
This dude dislocates his shoulder, his opponent pops it back in, and they continue fighting. Awesome.
Bellator 171 highlights.
CES 41 highlights.
Beatdown After the Bell.
Fights Gone By.
The “Notorious” Instagram post that kicked off the McGregor show.
Twice now that Ngannou’s been training the finishing technique he uses in the back beforehand. Next opponent might want to sneak a camera in the locker room.
Shevchenko is a world champion Muay Thai fighter, competitive shooter, and competitive dancer. The woman is extremely talented.
With the moves! @BulletValentina gets it done at #UFCDenver pic.twitter.com/3VCuv2jHoI— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 29, 2017
And George Foreman is on the VS train.
Not only a star, but a new dance is born The future is here https://t.co/8Rqw7S1m2Z— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) January 29, 2017
Awful luck for McCall and condolences to Seery and his family for their loss.
@ufc how about you guys just give me a desk job?— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) January 30, 2017
Someone ready to step in.
I hear @Unclecreepymma needs someone to throw down with. I know a NY native who is ready to step up. @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2 @FishLaw— Louis Gaudinot (@LouGaudinotUFC) January 30, 2017
Apparently I tried to fight you in an elevator already maybe it's time for some real fun. @AliciaNicole79 @QuigginsMMA https://t.co/RxDeXVyQHP— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) January 30, 2017
Cerrone deserves nothing but respect.Winning 4 in a row at WW @ufc is super hard. I'm proud of winning 6 & want my deserved title shot next!— Demian Maia (@demianmaia) January 29, 2017
Nice return bout.
April 8? @ALIAQUINTA @seanshelby #Vamos— Thiago Alves. (@ThiagoAlvesATT) January 28, 2017
@170 it's on @ThiagoAlvesATT https://t.co/GvFZoZyATO— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) January 28, 2017
Fantastic walkout from Bellator.
What did @TheCaveman316 have up his sleeve for tonight's hometown walkout? WATCH! #MannequinChallenge #Bellator171 pic.twitter.com/TjS7oBAuKF— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 28, 2017
Crushed some Zombies last night pic.twitter.com/VWF2wP7FuR— Dennis Bermudez (@MenaceBermudez) January 29, 2017
T-Wood being ruthless.
@KelvinGastelum Naw you got Wonderbread, 4 pieces of bologna, cheese and mayo! ⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) January 29, 2017
Shoeface tapped one of the more feared grapplers going these days.
Garry Tonin vs Carlos Antinio Jr. 'Cara de Sapato' #SUG3 Flying Triangle pic.twitter.com/BA4A3WquS0— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 30, 2017
The spirit of Reebok will always live on.
Brandao rocking the UFC Reebok shorts in Russia #EFN58 pic.twitter.com/lKvw2HBwaf— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 28, 2017
Here’s a dude who wants to fight Punk.
I texted Dana. I emailed Duke. I've tweeted Punk. This week I will get an answer, if he ducks you can't say I didn't try. #ellisvspunk— Jason Ellis (@EllisMate) January 30, 2017
Tito looks to be enjoying retirement.
Happy Birthday to My King @titoortiz1999 you are my best friend and love of my life❤ #WeMakeThisLookGood I mean good #BirthdaySuit #TitoOrtiz Special thanks to @jasonstrauss @marqueelv @cosmopolitan_lv for a perfect weekend!! And #SusanSavage the hostess with the mostest we love you #LasVegas #Winning Thank you @globalmediagroup
Ronda’s much more socially present than she was after the Holm loss.
Josh Thomson (22-8, 1 NC) vs. Patricky Freire (16-8); Bellator 172, Feb. 18.
Partick Cummins (8-4) vs. Jan Blachowicz (19-6); UFC 210, April 8.
Irene Aldana (7-3) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (8-1); UFC 210, April 8.
Shane Burgos (8-0) vs. Charles Rosa (11-2); UFC 210, April 8.
Caposa says it all.
Seriously, which god did Ian McCall piss off? pic.twitter.com/n4gyCOAmKh— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 29, 2017
Hope you enjoyed the weekend everyone. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.
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