Anchored by a fight almost two years in the making, UFC 184 is a history maker. While not the most attractive fight card on paper, it's the first in UFC history to feature a main event and co-headliner consisting only of women. It just so happens the main event plays host to one of the biggest crossover stars in the sport's history, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey.
Rousey is dominant. It looked as if Sara McMann, a fellow Olympian, stood the best chance at being her kryptonite, but was disposed of in just one round. Rousey's next opponent, jiu jitsu black belt Alexis Davis, lasted only sixteen seconds. Now she stands across the cage from a different skill set than she's ever faced in unbeaten Cat Zingano.
It's not likely Zingano will win-- it'd be a monumental upset. Zingano originally earned her title shot with a win over Miesha Tate two years ago. An ACL tear, as well as personal issues kept Zingano on the shelf for well over a year before a comeback win over Amanda Nunes last year.
Despite her undefeated record, her strengths play into the much stronger strengths of her opponent Rousey.
Zingano likes to work in the clinch, most notably to throw knees and use snap downs. This is a huge no-no when facing Rousey, who is all too comfortable sending her opponents head over heels and crashing to the mat with her elite judo.
Rousey and Zingano aren't the only stars on the show, however. Former ESPY nominated boxer Holly Holm is also undefeated, and finally making her UFC debut. The Jackson-Winklejohn product has steamrolled her questionable competition on the regional circuit, and will now face top-15 women's bantamweight Raquel Pennington.
Pennington is looking to score a monumental upset that would continue her winning ways. Her 5-4 record is deceiving, as she's one two of three in the UFC, with her only loss being a split decision to Jessica Andrade. She's also much more experienced than her record would indicate, as she went 7-1 as an amateur, and 2-1 on The Ultimate Fighter.
Holm's fight is particularly interesting because of her top-notch boxing and kickboxing. Women's MMA mirrors early men's MMA in that there aren't a whole lot of well rounded competitors yet. The top of the heap tend to be a high level at one discipline, while rounding out the rest of their game (see Rousey, McMann, Cyborg). Holly Holm falls into that category.
What makes Holm special is her footwork. To beat Ronda Rousey, people need to stay out of clinch range. Holm does that with a variety of long range strikes, and some of the best footwork in the sport today. She gets in, unloads her combinations and gets back out. Her fight with Pennington should be very telling.
Holm won't be the lone potential opponent for Rousey in the house, however. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will be at UFC 184 following her Invicta FC fight, as well as "Four Horsewomen" rival Bethe Correia.
Elsewhere on the card, aging Ultimate Fighter veteran looks to get his career back on track against a struggling Jake Ellenberger. Koscheck is coming off of an extended layoff, and Ellenberger is going through the darkest point in his career. This could very well be the end of the line for one of these two welterweight mainstays. The card also features a veteran of 24 UFC fights in Gleison Tibau taking on Tony Ferguson, who has won 7 of his 8 UFC fights.
Wrestling Inc has you covered for the full event, starting with the preliminary fights at 7 PM eastern.