By Sam Cowan
Ronda Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds in the main event of UFC 190 on Saturday to retain her women’s bantamweight title and improve to 11-0 in her career.
After the fight, an emotional Rousey dedicated the win to recently-deceased wrestler, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
The win marks her seventh successful defense of the title, which she won in March 2012. It was also Rousey’s third win in four fights against an opponent who was undefeated coming in.
The victory is the latest in a long line of impressive performances by Rousey up to this point as she has dominated the bantamweight division in UFC since her debut.
10 of Rousey’s 11 fights in her career have ended in the first round and her last three fights have gone a combined 64 seconds.
Rousey’s dominance has drawn a lot of fan and media interest and heading into UFC 190 she was ranked by the media as the fourth best pound-for-pound fighter in the company regardless of gender. Champions Jose Aldo, Chris Weidman and Demetrius Johnson were the only fighters ranked ahead of her.
With her latest challenger dispatched, the question now becomes who will step up to the plate next to challenge for Rousey’s championship.
Shortly after the Rousey-Correia fight concluded, former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate posted a tweet stating her desire for another chance at Rousey. It would the third fight between the two.
The first match between Tate and Rousey was for the Strikeforce bantamweight title and Rousey won via her signature armbar in 4:27.
Their second fight took place in December 2013. During that fight, Tate became the first and so far only fighter to make it out of the first round against Rousey. However, Rousey would again win with her armbar as Tate was forced to submit 58 seconds into the third round.
Tate would seem to be the likely choice to face Rousey next, but it is questionable if the fight will end any differently than their previous two match-ups.
While Rousey likes to finish her opponents off quickly, 8 of Tate’s 17 wins in her career have come by a decision.
Regardless, the second Rousey-Tate match was the most competitive of Rousey’s career thus far and I could see the UFC building a PPV around a third and final match between the two. The match would likely be a PPV main event, especially if the buyrate for UFC 190 is high enough.
Rousey has previously stated that she wants to retire as an undefeated champion and with every dominant victory that seems more likely to happen. Her success in the octagon has gained Rousey mainstream fame and she has begun branching out to movies as of late.
If she defeats Tate for a third time, it is very possible that Rousey could consider hanging up her gloves while she is at the top of her game.
If so, it would be hard to blame her. After all, Rousey’s dominance to this point means she has nothing else to really prove.