Every great fighter needs a suitable nemesis to elevate them via the crucible of conflict. Arturo Gatti had Mickey Ward. Chuck Liddell had Randy Couture. Batman had the Joker. But alas, the best female fighter in the world – the lady who owns the UFC bantamweight belt and claims the Octagon as her home – has no one. Yeah, I’m talking about Ronda Rousey, who’s thus far beaten all comers handily. No one who can legitimately challenge her, test her, make her dig deep and display the traits we demand of fighters before we label them as great.
And that sucks.
Since the desire to have our heroes tested is burned deep within our minds, we tend to latch on to those challengers with even the slightest bit of hype behind them. First there was Miesha Tate, whose initial tangle with Rousey ended with one of the worst destructions of an elbow joint ever witnessed. We even bought into the rematch because, well, why not? There was an entire season of TUF behind the rematch’s promotional push, and who the hell else was there worthy?
After Tate came Sara McMann, the Olympian who – as predicted – was able to stifle Rousey judo (but didn’t count on Rousey throwing strikes).
Now what? Of course talk centers around Cris Cyborg, the former Strikeforce champ, now Invicta FC champ, whose fresh off a hard-fought loss in Muay Thai bout. But there is someone else too, someone with no where near the requisite MMA experience but with enough boxing credentials to make the match-up look compelling at least on paper. That someone is Holly Holm.
Tonight, Holm will be fighting for Legacy FC’s inaugural 135-pound belt. If she wins it, the chatter suggesting she face Rousey will undoubtedly increase.
Because no matter what, if she were to ever face Rousey, Holm will always be a boxer taking on a grappler, and we learned what happens in those bouts in the first few UFCs. Any desire to see Holm and Rousey clash is just your mind, and its desire to see Rousey tested, playing tricks on you.