Can you think of any athlete in any sport who has had the meteoric rise of UFC champ Ronda Rousey?
It’s rhetorical. 

This Saturday at UFC 184, she again defends her crown. This time against a very game Cat Zingano. Just five days and two years since her UFC debut, Rousey is the most popular fighter in the organization and it can be argued the most dominant. It has been the perfect storm of the UFC. Embracing women fighters and having a charismatic and talented one coming along at the right time. Then again, perhaps the UFC would’ve have delayed the move had it not been for Rousey already showing what she is capable of and the following she had already built in Strikeforce.

Even the once hot topic of when she would fight Cris Cyborg has cooled. Not near the persistence of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao which will finally, after years of speculation, happen in May. 
Now in the UFC it’s about Ronda. She has her own kind of 24/7; ESPN The Magazine cover; Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Spread; Maxim; Jimmy Kimmel; Conan O’Brien; Eminem rapping she is a “Slaughterhouse in a blouse” ; The Expendables 3 and Entourage movies. She is a cottage industry of appeal and fame the likes of which have never been seen in MMA and few in any combative sport. 
For all the male fighters who want the comparison to Ali, it is the lady who more closely fits the bill of brashness, mischievousness, humor, and marketability.
In her perfect 10-0 career, she has only been pushed beyond the first round once, in her second meeting with Miesha Tate at UFC 168. It is to her credit that the appeal for a super fight with Cyborg has waned. This isn’t the next pretty face with some skills, she is an evolving armbar machine adding striking power to her repertoire (her last two wins via KO). And be it fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann or possible up-and-comers Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche, they have all quickly fell to the wrath of Ronda. If she beat Zingano as expected, and Holly Holm defeats Raquel Pennington as expected, the next matchup seems inevitable.
Would a former boxing champ be the one to dethrone the Queen of MMA? Rousey is so forceful that it is indeed about her, all comers welcome she does not require a nemesis or rival.
Friends from other walks of sports have told me their only pay-per-view UFC purchases have been Rousey fights. It is a safe guess they are not alone.
Everything thrown at at Rousey in the cage has been deflected with the ease of her smile on a photo shoot. There appears to be no weakness and no fear, except for the one thing she has frequently talked about in interviews including one recently with O’Brien–paper cuts. As deadly as an uppercut in her opinion, saying even “Talking about it right now makes me uneasy.”
So there, a well placed opened envelope is the kryptonite for the UFC’s Super Woman. Rock and scissors are optional. But don’t bet on it.


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