UFC 184 Date: 02/28/15 Arena: Staples Center City: Los Angeles, CA Women’s Bantamweight title bout: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (-900) vs “Alpha” Cat Zingano (+600) Fight Breakdown: UFC 184’s main event of the evening will be a five round title fight that see’s Colorado native “Alpha” Cat Zingano challenge “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey for her UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. The challenger is the underdog heading into the contest at +600 ($100 to win $600), with the champion being a -900 ($900 to win $100) betting favorite to win at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) last saw action at UFC 175 nearly eight months ago, where she scored a 16-second knockout of Alexis Davis that earned her ‘Performance of the Night’ honors, as well as multiple ‘Knockout of the Year’ awards. It was an incredible performance by Rousey and she looked as dominant as ever. After defeating the first eight opponents of her professional mixed martial arts career by submission, all of them by armbar with seven of them coming inside the first round and five of them in under a minute, she has gone on beat her most two recent opponents by T/KO. The knockouts, much like the submissions, came within the first frame with a combined cage time of 1:22. Heading into the Octagon for the fifth time and in her third UFC main event, she will be looking to keep her undefeated strike alive against the also-undefeated Cat Zingano. The 28-year old is an extraordinary grappler with an excellent submission game and phenomenal judo skills. She works beautiful takedowns and has great judo throws and tosses, which she favors to get her opponents down to the mat, as well as her inside trip and body-lock takedowns. She does a great job of tricking and baiting opponents into making mistakes that give openings for her to score her throws, tosses and general takedowns. The Strikeforce and UFC veteran has been showing tremendous improvements in her striking from fight to fight, largely in part due to her time spent working with striking coach Edvard Tarverdyan at the Glendale Fight Club in Glendale, CA. “Rowdy” is an incredibly tough fighter who is full of heart and has no quit in her. I believe she will be good to go for all 25-minutes of action against Zingano, if necessary, though she has all the tools to end this fight inside the distance, as has been the case with all 10 of her professional bouts. “Alpha” Cat Zingano (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is the “Comeback Queen” of the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division, having won back-to-back fights in come-from-behind fashion, both with third round TKO stoppages. She looked impressive in both Octagon appearances, taking out contenders Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes, respectively, and she will not look to keep her undefeated streak alive against Ronda Rousey, who will undoubtedly be the biggest test of her professional mixed martial arts career. The Colorado native is a very tough fighter with excellent cardio who is aggressive inside the cage and tough to put away, be it by strikes or submissions. She is very resilient and possesses a great chin. Offensively, she is at times a slow starter, but is generally solid on the feet; and defensively, she has pretty good submission defense, but her striking defense leaves something to be desired. “Alpha” has decent Muay Thai skills and is very powerful, especially from inside the clinch or in top position on the mat. She does a great job of working her knees and elbows into her offensive striking attack. The 32-year old works good throws and takedowns and is quite dominant when finding herself on top of her opponents. Her ground and pound is vicious, and owning a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, she is also a threat with her submissions. She is without a doubt a finisher, and the fact that eight of her nine professional mixed martial arts career bouts have ended inside the distance certainly reflects that sentiment. Six of those finishes have come by way of T/KO and three of them by submission. The Colorado native does not have very good takedown defense, but she is quite active off her back, attacking with strikes and constantly looking for submission opportunities. She also does a good job of working reversals and finding herself in dominant position, and usually keeps said position due to her great strength. When on top of her opponents, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt does a good job of advancing from positions, often finding herself in position to finish the fight. Gabe’s Thoughts: I will be truly shocked if Rousey loses this fight. Shocked! Even at her incredibly juicy price of -900, I see a lot of value in her. She may be the only fighter I will ever say has a lot of value at -900. I often think that even -1500 favorites have a very small chance of being upset, but I really can’t realistically see Ronda losing this fight. The only ways I could see her losing are by disqualification or severe injury, and the possibility of those outcomes are slimmer than slim. I think the most likely outcome to this match-up is her winning by early submission, but I believe the outcome will ultimately be what she wants it to be. If she decides she wants a dominant decision victory, that’s what she will get. If she puts her mind towards scoring a third consecutive T/KO, I believe she will. That said, I think she wants to end this fight as early as possible, and will likely turn to her infamous armbar to do so. However, I could see her earning her first non-armbar submission victory, so this Saturday night we may see her lock up a triangle-choke or possibly put Zingano to out with a technical rear naked choke. I threw in the “technical” because I imagine Zingano refusing to tap and going to sleep. Bottom line, I expect Rousey to continue to cruise when she defends her title in her hometown this weekend. Gabe’s Call: Rousey by Submission (armbar, 0:39 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Ronda Rousey (-900) 9u to win 1u and Rousey/Zingao Under 1.5 rounds (-165) parlayed with Tony Ferguson (-220) at +133 for 3.3u to win 4.4u
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