Since transitioning to mixed martial arts from a traditional Judo background, Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist Ronda Rousey has been an unstoppable force. She made her professional fighting debut in March 2011, finishing her first seven fights by first-round armbar.
The 27-year-old female fighting phenom has only been taken further than the first round once in her 10-fight career. She’s walked through the competition. The only time she’s faced adversity in a fight was for a few seconds in her first UFC title defense against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. Carmouche took her back and applied a neck crank. Seconds later, Rousey was out of danger and in a dominant position.
With such quick finishes, including a 16-second knockout of Alexis Davis in her last outing at UFC 175, it’s hard to determine who has posed the biggest threat to Rousey’s reign.
Asked who was her toughest MMA fight while attending UFC Fight Night 51 in Brazil, Rousey gave that distinction to fellow Olympic Medalist Sara McMann.
“I would say my strongest opponent has been Sara McMann. I think she was the most physically strong one,” she said. “If she hadn’t gotten knocked down by that liver strike in the very beginning, I think it would have been a much tougher fight.”
It took Rousey 1:06 to finish McMann. Only Miesha Tate has made it out of the first round with the reigning champion, but Rousey doesn’t consider the two fights against Tate as “tough.”
“A lot of people would say Miesha, but I was mostly just trying to beat her up before I finished her off. I wouldn’t really call that a tough fight since I out-struck her five-to-one,” said Rousey.
“I would say within the short period of time that I fought McMann, I took a lot more damage than I did with anybody else.”