The UFC is having a killer year on pay-per-view. Heading into November, the company was having their best year on average since the Brock Lesnar era, which is nothing to scoff at. Saturday night at UFC 193, those averages are going to see a significant increase on the back of dominant UFC Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Rousey is the biggest star in MMA, and it's not even close. She's crossed over into TV, movies, and even WWE. Her overwhelming Judo pedigree has made her a juggernaut in a sport where the rest of the women can't catch up to her grappling skills, which she's been honing since adolescence. With each fight, however, Rousey has shown wrinkles in her game.
In 2014, Rousey finished Olympian Sara McMann with a knee in the clinch. In August, she knocked foe Bethe Correia out cold. Even more impressively, she owns the only two straight knockouts in the UFC women's bantamweight division. All the rest are of the TKO variety. Even longtime rival Cris Cyborg doesn't own a straight knockout victory, although that determination is often at the discretion of the referee.
Standing in Rousey's way is another dominant fighter in Holly Holm. Holm, who was once nominated for the Best Fighter ESPY as a boxer, has taken down everyone in her path, on her way to a 9-0 MMA record, and a 33-2-3 boxing record. Not many are giving Holm much of a chance, although not to the degree of a Bethe Correia or Alexis Davis.
The reason for this, is that each of Holly Holm's nine MMA fights have been in preparation for this moment. Each of her fights has played out like a blueprint of how an opponent might be able to beat Ronda Rousey. A tall task indeed, but we've yet to see a fighter use range in the manner that Holly Holm does. Coupled with the fact that Holm has elite footwork, it could pose problems that Ronda Rousey hasn't seen in her MMA career.
The UFC decided to double down and capitalize on Rousey's presence on the card by booking their other female champion, Strawweight Queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Joanna has been a complete bulldozer in 2015, laying waste to Carla Esparza and Jessica Penne, neither of whom have fought since. Across the cage from Joanna will be former 135 pounder Valerie Letourneau, who stepped up with Joanna's rival Claudia Gadelha was unable to accept the fight. Letourneau is 3-0 in the UFC, but has had issues facing experienced fighters such as Gadelha, Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman and Roxane Modafferi. That doesn't bode well for Letourneau, who is a huge underdog.
Elsewhere on the show, Mark Hunt and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva square off in a rematch of their all-time classic 2013 fight. Top-15 heavyweight Stefan "Skycraper" Struve, at 7 feet tall, will take on Jared Rosholt, who is an impressive 5-1 in the UFC, and facing his biggest test to date.
Wrestling Inc will have full, live coverage of UFC 193 starting with quick results of the prelim fights Saturday at 6:30 PM EST, with round-by-round coverage of the PPV at 10 PM EST.