Around the Horn: Rogan predicts “madness” but who is Rousey’s next challenger?

Posted: March 7, 2014 in Commentary/Opinion

RondaThe MMA world was temporarily in a frenzy when Joe Rogan went on a radio show and declared that Ronda Rousey’s next opponent was about to be named, and it would blow us all away. Sure, it’s always possible that Rogan was wearing his UFC cheerleader costume at the time, but I have a sneaking suspicion he’s privy to some inside information on this topic. But since he stopped short of actually telling us (dick move), we are left speculating. Today we’re going around the horn with the three smartest people I know to get their thoughts on this situation.

Nicole Cordova, VigilanteMMA Senior Columnist. Everyone wants to know…who is Ronda Rousey fighting next? Speculation has run wild but I’m going to go with pro boxer turned MMA fighter, Holly Holm. Riding the hype train out of Jackson’s camp, Holm and Rousey have expressed mutual interest in mixing it up. Ronda has already faced “the wrestler.” A match up with a boxer would be a wet dream….and it doesn’t hurt that Holly is attractive aka “marketable.” The preacher’s daughter versus the rowdy one.

Steve Sadler, VigilanteMMA. The toughest part about trying to figure out what the UFC will do next is trying to separate Joe Rogan’s enthusiasm from reality. Rogan’s scoop included the terms “huge” and “crazy” news. That can only mean one person—Cris Cyborg. Other names have been tossed around, like Gina Carano and Holly Holm; as have the more reasonable choices like Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis.

Only Cyborg matches the fervor Rogan implied. She’s well known throughout the MMA world as the one fighter who can match Rousey’s ability and to many fans, could defeat her. Holm has gaining popularity among the MMA insiders because of her boxing skills, but largely, most casual fans don’t even know her yet. Carano seems the most far-fetched to me. She’s pretty comfortable making movies and living a cushy lifestyle without getting her face beaten in. Why the hell would she return after 5 years? I’m saying she won’t.

The person who is probably primed to be the most deserving of the next shot is Zingano–she’s been promised the shot. The only problem with giving Cat the next shot is that it doesn’t qualify as Rogan’s “crazy” announcement. That’s why I’ve gotta believe the announcement is supposed to Cyborg. My only qualification to this is the possibility that the “plan” of signing her to an immediate title shot could fall apart before it actually gets signed. But I really believe Rogan was talking about Rousey vs. Cyborg.

Brad Walker, VigilanteMMA Senior Columnist. Ok let’s break this stupidity down because the only legitimate contender the UFC has is Cat Zingano. She’s clearly not going to be the next opponent with the slew of unfortunate circumstances surrounding her, so let’s look at the rest of the field. Either she’s fighting Bryan Caraway with a picture of a vagina taped to his crotch or Cyborg. Which depending on what you think of Cyborg it’s kind of the same thing – except Cyborg has striking skills. Gina Carano is as likely to return to MMA in the UFC for a title shot as CM Punk is to return to WWE for lower pay and bad story lines. It’s Cyborg or a shitty buy rate or Rogan smoked too much weed before his interview. Honestly I’d rather see my good friend Fallon Fox hit 135 and take a shot at Rousey.

Dave Sadler, Beyond the Cage Podcast. So the word on the street is that Rousey’s next foe in the octagon is worthy of a “huge announcement” from the UFC. There is absolutely zero reason for it to be anyone other the Cat Zingano (barring any unknown injuries to Cat). The UFC can’t bring in Gina Carano in my opinion because that undermines everything you are trying to build in your new Women’s division. That is like giving the middle finger to all the other girls currently working their way up to a title shot, as if to say,”Hey you are doing a great job and are a few fights away, but we want to bring this former fighter who hasn’t fought since 2009 in to leap frog all of you.

Cyborg Santos is also rumored as a possible headliner. If the UFC wants to put her in there, FINE with me. But what happens when on weigh in day when she misses weight by 5 lbs? What happens if somehow she makes weight and is able to beat Rousey, will she ever be able to make weight for he defenses of the belt?
I feel that both options are right if all the UFC wants to do is pile up cash! But if they want to do the actual right thing you need to make the call to Cat Zingano and offer her the fight she deserves.
  1. […] to Holm’s manager, an agreement was not yet made, but the groundwork has been laid. It seems—thankfully—an immediate fight with Ronda Rousey is NOT part of the deal, and that’s fine with Holm’s […]

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