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UFC Recap : Ronda Rousey's 3 toughest opponents so far

Aditya Sheth
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.02K   //    30 Jul 2015, 13:40 IST

‘The most dominant female athlete in the world’Earlier this year, Business Insider named UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, ‘The most dominant athlete alive,’ ahead of superstar sportsmen like Lebron James and Lionel Messi. Ronda is a trailblazer. Unstoppable in her MMA career, she has also found the time to star in big budget movies like Entourage.This Sunday, Ronda will look to extend her unbeaten record to 12-0 when she faces Bethe Correia in Brazil. Bethe is the latest in a long line of women who thought they could beat Ronda and become champion. Below, we look at 3 fighters who were Ronda’s biggest threats and what happened in their fight.

#3 Sarah Kaufman

Kaufman faced Rousey when her striking was unevolved

Its pretty incredible to think that just 3 years ago, Ronda Rousey was in Strikeforce facing Sarah Kaufman in her first Strikeforce title defense, after beating bitter rival Miesha Tate for the championship. Though Zuffa owned Strikeforce, no woman had ever competed under the UFC banner and Ronda Rousey was a name only die hards knew. She wasnt starring in any movies, she wasnt on billboards and she wasnt beating Lebron James and Lionel Messi to accolades. Nobody thought she would get this far this soon. Especially when she was matched up with Sarah Kaufman.

Sarah Kaufman is a high level striker who has a great record against grapplers. Also, this fight took place before Rondas striking evolved to the level it is right now. Owning Ws over Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche, Sarah managed grind out decision victories against some of the best fighters in the world. She throws very good straight punches and always found a way to control the distance in a fight. Her ability to keep Ronda away from her, circle around and continuously land her shots was the key for her going in to the fight. She also had very good take down defense, successfully stuffing all of Miesha Tates takedowns en route to victory.

However, Ronda Rousey is not like other grapplers. Her Judo also gives her the ability to use takedowns,conventional wrestlers could never pull off. She came out swinging in the opening seconds and got Kaufman in a clinch against the cage very early on. After Kaufman defended the judo throw, Ronda swept her legs and forced her to the ground. Ronda passed guard into the full mount and began unleashing her ground and pound when she somersaulted into side control on the back and began fishing for Kaufmans arm. Kaufman resisted but could not get Ronda off her. Kaufman continued to be stubborn but Ronda kept rolling her back and forth, finally locking in the armbar and submitting Kaufman in under a minute.

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