UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey considers herself the best fighter in the world, and she continues to strengthen the argument that she really is each time she competes.
It took the undefeated titleholder longer to make her way to the Octagon inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday than it did to finish top contender Cat Zingano once she got there.
Zingano rushed across the cage and leaped with a knee at the sound of the opening bell. She grabbed Rousey and tried to power her to the ground. Rousey immediately flipped Zingano over and reversed the position.
As she’s done eight other times in her career, Rousey isolated an arm and ended the fight via armbar. The fight lasted just 14 seconds. The finish set the record for the fastest submission ever in a UFC title fight and tied the all-time fastest submission win in the promotion's history.
“Actually, we were expecting that she might come out and just do something flying at me right away,” said Rousey about Zingano’s fast start.
“I originally thought I was going to check-left hook, but I just caught her instead. I was actually working on that behind-the-arm armbar. Not from that angle, but hey, it works,” she said about the finish. “It was a lot like Judo transitions where you scramble the second you hit the ground. And I know I have faster transitions than anyone because my mom taught me.”
Zingano, who has overcome injury and personal tragedy, was left wishing she could do it all over again.
“I want to do it again. Just (expletive),” said a dejected Zingano following the quick loss. “She had my arm and I saw her leg right there. I thought to grab it and hold it and all of a sudden I was tapping. It was in, but it wasn’t in. (Expletive)! I want to do it again.
“She did it. She (expletive) won. She did it. She did good. That was a good arm bar. She did it,” continued Zingano.
Rousey has nearly cleaned out her division, but there are fighters that she’d like to test her skillset against.
“I was really impressed with Holly Holm tonight. She’s a world champion boxer. I’d always like to test myself against that level of striking,” said the champion. “Bethe Correia, she’s undefeated. I’d like to take that 0 away from her.”