02-27-2015, by JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com
This Saturday night, February 28, 2015 we are going to have a major Pay-Per-View event with the UFC 184 event taking place in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. This was originally scheduled for a double title match with the UFC World Middleweight Championship in the main event and the women’s UFC World Bantamweight Championshipin the co-main event. That has been changed.
Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort were supposed to fight for the UFC World Middleweight Championship but Weidman was injured that fight has been re-scheduled for a later date. As a result, the co-main event has become the main event and the third to the last fight is now the UFC 184 co-main event. This change is exciting because the 4 ladies in these matches are out to prove which one of them is the best.
In the co-main event we have Raquel “Rocky” Pennington vs. Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holms which promises to be a great fight. Both of these ladies were supposed to meet back in UFC 181 but Holms was injured before the fight. We will finally get to see them compete in the UFC 184 co-main event. Lets take a closer look at these ladies.
Holly Holms is a former boxer who has been training at the famed Jackson’s-Winkeljohn’s Mixed Martial Arts gym since 2007 and has been a student of John Winkeljohn. He has been her striking coach during her entire boxing career. Holms won 18 titles in boxing with a record of 33-2-3 that says to me that Holms’ striking is outstanding. But, lets not forget that Holms has also competed in kickboxing and has won a title there as well. When Holms saw that women were starting to get more recognized as true fighters in MMA she decided to move her skills there. She is undefeated and is the Legacy FC inaugural Women’s World Bantamweight Champion which she fought with a broken hand. That fight earned her the call to come to the UFC and make a name for herself there. Holms has drawn a tough first fight, for sure.
Most people saw Raquel Pennington for the first time on TUF 18 Team Rousey vs Team Tate when it was a men’s and women’s show. I have seen Pennington fight before on Invicta FC when she took on Leslie Smith and Cat Zingano. Pennington lost both of those fights but we definitely saw that she was a fighter who never gives up.
When the UFC finally made a women’s Bantamweight division and then casted women for TUF 18, Pennington made the cut and joined Team Tate. It was a tough season and Pennington made it all the way to the semi-finals before losing to Jessica Rakoczy by UD. After that fight, the UFC gave Pennington another chance to prove herself. With that chance and at the TUF Finale, she beat her friend and teammate, Roxanne Modafferi, in a good fight by UD. Pennington has bounced back since them with a loss and win and is looking to keep the wins coming. She is also hoping to hand Holms her first loss.
In the main event of the evening for the women’s UFC World Bantamweight Championship we have defending champion Ronda Rousey taking on number 1 contender Cat Zingano. Cat Zingano is a 4-time world champion in two different weight classes and undefeated with a record of 9-0-0. These ladies were supposed to be coaches on TUF 18 after Zingano beat Miesha Tate for the number 1 contender spot but fate had other plans for them.
Zingano was training and got a nasty knee injury that required immediate surgery. While Zingano was recovering fate stepped in again and, once again, it wasn’t good, Zingano’s husband/trainer killed himself after they were having problems. Zingano is now faced with caring for their son by herself.
Zingano is without a shadow of a doubt a warrior and a comeback story. I say comeback because Zingano came back to fight at UFC 178 September 27, 2014 against Amanda Nunes.That was a tough fight for the judges to call after Nunes won the first round and Zingano won the second round. In the third round it was all about Zingano who won by TKO. That win earned Zingano her shot at the title. She is going to take this fight very seriously and wants to win not just for her son but for everyone that has helped her with rehab and her personal loss.
Let’s be sure to keep in mind who Zingano is fighting. She is fighting none other then Ronda Rousey. When women first started fighting in MMA everyone thought that Gina Carano was going to be the poster lady for all the women but Rousey had other plans in mind like winning the Strikeforce Women’s World Bantamweight Championship.
After Carano lost in a title fight against Cristiane Santos, Carano left MMA for acting and hasn’t looked back. So with that, everyone thought that women’s MMA wouldn’t continue. They forgot about Rousey who was a 2-time Olympian and Bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympic Games. Rousey was out to prove that women belong not just in MMA but in the UFC as well.
After 2 fights in Strikforce, Rousey got her shot at the title where she met her greatest foe, Miesha Tate. this is where we saw Rousey win in the first round as she has done many times before with an armbar submission in the first round. Rousey went onto defend the title before the UFC bought Strikeforce and took all the fighters over to the main roster of the UFC. Dana White said in the past “There will never be women in the UFC”. After seeing Rousey fight and demonstrate the type of woman fighter that she is, White fell in love with women’s MMA. He saw a star in Rousey.
When the UFC bought Strikeforce they had to give Rousey her new title as Women’s UFC World Bantamweight Champion and she had her first match at UFC 157 on February 23, 2013 where Rousey took on Liz Carmouche. This was Rousey’s first title defense and Carmouche’s opportunity to show that she should be the champion. This fight was going great and Carmouche almost had the rear naked choke on Rousey but it wasn’t tight enough. Rousey found a way to take Carmouche down and get the armbar. After that win, Rousey went on to defend the title 3 more times which takes us up to the present.
Rousey has taken the fame of being a champion in stride and has appeared in 3 movies so far. She is looking to retain her title, remain undefeated and eventually retire as an undefeated champion.
This weekend we are definitely going to see some great fights and this is ladies weekend, for sure. The card for UFC 184 contains some other great fights that are also a must-watch.
Who do you have winning this weekend ?
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