As you probably know by now, unless you’re a hoarder and spent the weekend buried amidst a sea of newspapers, magazines, empty tuna cans and a herd of cats, 2008 Olympic judo medalist Ronda Rousey made her UFC debut over the weekend, picking up a first round submission win via her patented armbar over former U.S. Marine Liz Carmouche in the first-ever UFC women’s bout.
It was a historic night for women’s mixed martial arts and women in sports in general. And because it’s a new era for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it’s time you meet the women who are currently signed to the organization’s bantamweight (135-pound) division.
Undefeated Cat Zingano (7-0) will be one-half of the second women’s MMA bout in UFC history as she takes on Miesha Tate at the TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas on April 13. Cat is 30-years-old, she was born in Broomfield, Colo. She is a well-rounded fighter who has won three of her fights via submission, three via (T)KO, and one via decision. Her most notable win to date is her second round TKO victory over Carina Damm back in 2010. If she can get past Tate in April, there’s a good chance she will get the next shot at the UFC women’s bantamweight title.
Born in Port Colborne, Canada, Alexis Davis (13-5) is a 28-year-old women’s MMA veteran who has been fighting professionally since 2008. Davis is part of Team Cesar Gracie and holds a black belt in both Japanese and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Davis has faced most of the biggest names in women’s MMA and holds notable wins over the likes of Tonya Evinger, Julie Kedzie, Amanda Nunes, Hitomi Akano and Shayna Baszler. Seven of Davis’ wins have come via submission, four via decision and 2 via (T)KO.
Miesha Tate (13-3) is the biggest name in women’s MMA right now outside of Ronda Rousey. She is a 26-year-old fighter born in Tacoma, Wash. and was a high-school state wrestling champion. She maintains a strong grappling game with six of her wins coming via submission, three wins via (T)KO and four wins via decision. Tate will face Cat Zingano in the second ever women’s MMA bout at the TUF 17 Finale in April. Tate suffered a gruesome armbar submission loss to Ronda Rousey in March 2012 in Strikeforce and is looking for a chance at revenge if she can get past Zingano in April.
Sara McMann (6-0) is a 32-year-old fighter from Takoma Park, Md. McMann won a silver medal in wrestling at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Although still young in her MMA career, many feel with her strong wrestling base, she could one day pose the biggest threat to Ronda Rousey. Still undefeated, three of McMann’s wins have come via decision, two wins were via submission and one via (T)KO. Some of her most notable wins were over Tonya Evinger, Hitomi Akano, and most recently, Shayna Baszler.
Liz Carmouche (8-3) is a 29-year-old former U.S. Marine who fought Ronda Rousey at UFC 157 in the first ever women’s bout in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. Although Carmouche lost that bout with Rousey, she gave the Olympian her toughest fight to date. Carmouche is also the first openly gay fighter in UFC history. Born in Lafayette, La., Carmouche began fighting professionally in 2010 and won six straight fights in her first year as a pro. She holds notable wins over Kaitlin Young and Jan Finney.
Twenty-six-year-old California native Ronda Rousey (7-0) single-handedly convinced the UFC to implement a women’s division by her performances inside the MMA cage. Rousey is a 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist and has finished all 10 of her mixed martial arts opponents by armbar submission in the first round (7 as pro, 3 as amateur). Rousey is the first-ever UFC women’s champion and defeated Liz Carmouche in the UFC 157 main event in her first bantamweight title defense. The sky truly is the limit for Ronda Rousey and she is ushering the UFC into a brand new era.