For the first time in UFC history, UFC 184 will be headlined be females as both the co main event and then main event, will be occupied by the women’s bantamweight division. Hollywood and UFC superstar, Ronda Rousey, takes over the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as rising prospect Holly Holm hopes to continue to build a championship contending resume in MMA. The UFC pay per view card is not all female though, as Jake Ellenberger and Josh Koscheck square off, along with the likes of Alan Jouban and Tony Ferguson. Prelims kick off on Fight Pass at 7 pm EST, sliding over to FOX Sports 1 at 8 pm EST, while finally rounding out on pay per view at 10 pm EST. Four females, one UFC title on the line, contender-ship on the other, the MMA Spotlight dives right in!
[C] Ronda Rousey (10-0) vs. #1 Cat Zingano (9-0) Women’s Bantamweight Championship Fight – Someone’s “0” must go, as both undefeated powerhouses in the women’s UFC bantamweight division lock horns for the title. It has been previously repeated through the previews that challenger, Cat Zingano, has the upper hand striking. The MMA Spotlight finds that interesting, just in short because Ronda Rousey has finished her last two fights via technical knockout in the very first round. There was once upon a time where one could solely single out the UFC champion’s striking and really exploit it, that time has come and gone. Rousey’s striking has consistently improved each time she has stepped foot in a UFC cage, this section highly doubts Zingano will have the upper hand in that aspect, and in any other aspect of the fight. If there is a way Zingano could win this, her power may just be the game changer she needs to defeat one of the best. Surgery or not, Rousey is still a class ahead of the rest, and a mega star in the UFC for a reason. Zingano has the story and the heart, but Rousey is a just a better pure fighter. Ronda Rousey via Submission.
#13 Holly Holm (7-0) vs. #14 Raquel Pennington (5-5) Women’s Bantamweight Bout – It is hard to imagine why a .500 fighter is ranked in the UFC women’s bantamweight division, let alone a rank below an undefeated fighter, but Pennington may just surprise a few come Saturday night. Holly Holm has the higher upside, and could potentially challenge for a UFC title in the near future, Pennington is going to make it a tough ride though, while making Holm earn the accolades she desires. The former kickboxing champion has fundamentally sound striking, with lethal kicks. Whether if she pounds the lead leg, or heads up to the dome, either is very difficult to read, in which leads to opponents hitting the canvas unconscious. Pennington has quite the striking game as well, and the power to make opponents pay when trading. Unless Pennington turns this into a grappling match though, she shouldn’t have much of a chance. Holly Holm via Unanimous Decision.
#11 Jake Ellenberger (29-9) vs. Josh Koscheck (19-8) Welterweight Bout – Oh Ellenberger, how far the UFC welterweight has fallen. Once a possible contender in the UFC welterweight division, has now lost three in a row and in danger of falling out of the ranks. Josh Koscheck himself is coming off a three fight losing streak as well, and has not fought since 2013. Ellenberger during his successful runs, was known for starting early and pressing the action, but has become quite the stalwart in his losses. Koscheck is as well-rounded as can be, but a weak chin has become a catalyst to his losses. Either way, whichever fighter lands something significant first, the other may just hit the mat. It may have been over a year since “Kos” has fought, but seeing Ellenberger’s latest bouts does not instill too much confidence in betting money on him. Josh Koscheck via Technical Knockout.
Alan Jouban (10-3) vs. Richard Walsh (8-3) Welterweight Bout – Minus his looks, Alan Jouban has been quite the entertaining addition to the UFC welterweight roster. Jouban provides a very upbeat and in your face striking style that has kept those in attendance on their feet during his bouts. Walsh is more power than technique, and does like to mix up his grappling and dirty boxing against the cage. Jouban would be smart to keep the distance and increase the volume of strikes. He may have found himself on the wrong side of a decision in his last bout, he must win this in decisive fashion. Alan Jouban via Unanimous Decision.
Tony Ferguson (18-3) vs. Gleison Tibau (40-10) Lightweight Bout – A very solid opening bout on the UFC 184 pay per view, both lightweights vying to jump into the top 15 square off Saturday night. Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson is on the verge of cracking that list sooner or later, he has won four straight, and has beaten some known names in the division. Tibau is a vet of the UFC, while continuing to hang around right outside the rankings. Once again, Ferguson is the fighter with the higher ceiling here, and has a brighter future ahead of him if he consistently continue to win fights. Tibau has dangerous chokes, and continues to grow as a striker with each UFC bout, Ferguson’s length could be the deciding factor in the striking game though. Tony Ferguson via Unanimous Decision.
In other notable UFC fights on the card; Norifumi “Kid” Yomamoto enters a UFC octagon for the first time since 2012, taking on Roman Salazar. James Krause will headline the Fight Pass portion of the prelims, when he fights Valmir Lazaro. For full results and analysis of the fights following the UFC 184 card, tune back into the MMA Spotlight.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA