The undefeated and assertive Cat Zingano will be next to take a crack at taking away the female bantamweight title from the only champion it has ever known, Ronda Rousey. Co-headlining the event will be Raquel Pennington and Holly Holm in Holm’s UFC® debut.
Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano
The UFC® has tried to find and groom a proper contender for the dominating Rousey. The question is, have they found that contender in Zingano?
Cat Zingano may be the strongest, most persistent and most talented wrestler in the female bantamweight division… next to Rousey.
Zigano has shown invincibility in her matches and in her overall demeanor. Thus far, the 32-year-old fighting out of Broomfield, CO has remained believably confident when being compared to Rousey. As Rousey even has said herself, “Cat” can’t be intimidated.
As frustrating as it may be, though, I don’t think Rousey has found an equal yet. In other words, I doubt Zingano will be the one to dethrone the number one woman in the UFC®.
For Zingano to have a fighting chance, she will need to keep herself and Rousey on their feet during the match. As other Rousey challengers have found, that is much easier said than done.
Although I don’t see Rousey submitting the enduring Zingano by one of her classic arm-bars, I have a feeling her incredible wrestling will come into play to take Zingano down to the ground before finishing her.
Prediction: Rousey via TKO
Raquel Pennington vs Holly Holm
Holm, or the “Preacher’s Daughter," has been touted as the next fighter to work her way into knocking Rousey off her title seat. As a former world-champion boxer, she has been working to improve her skills in mixed martial arts for the last few years.
Considering striking has not necessarily been what Rousey is best at, many believe she will be the next top contender for the queen of the UFC®.
First, though, Holm needs to get past Raquel Pennington.
Pennington’s career has been up and down since making it to the semi-finals on The Ultimate Fighter Season 18. Her choke-out of Ashlee Evans-Smith last December got her a lot of attention, and she is surely going to use that momentum to face Holm.
Holm, however, may be one of the best strikers MMA has ever seen. In that case, I don’t see Pennington faring so well.
Prediction: Holm via KO
Jake Ellenberger vs Josh Koscheck
Ellenberger has been on a slippery slope the last two years. Once a well-respected slugger, “The Juggernaut” has fallen victim to Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler and most recently, Kelvin Gastelum at UFC® 180 in the first round.
Fellow UFC® veteran, Josh Koscheck, is on the same path downwards, losing to Johnny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley all within the last few years.
With both on a three-fight losing streak, this will be the fight to pull one of them out of the rut.
The loser of the fight, however, may lose his contract.
While Ellenberger has been taking on up-and-coming fighters, Koscheck’s losses have been by the hands of current and former champions like Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.
If Ellenberger can return to the heavy-handed striker we once knew, he may be able to take Koscheck. I doubt it, though.
Prediction: Koscheck, Decision
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