UFC 184 is in the books.
With the first ever UFC pay-per-view focused on women’s MMA officially in the past, we can now go back and take a look at some of the action that happened throughout the card. It was a night heavily dominated by favorites as opposed to a weekend ago where nearly ever underdog came out on top – but that’s just MMA. If you didn’t fork over a day’s worth of change to watch the PPV, then this is the guide you need to read because I’ll take you through all the important stuff that happened throughout the night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This is our UFC 184 review.
The Dirty Bird Soars Again
At 6-foot 2-inches tall, Tim Means poses a lot of problems on the feet. He claims to have the best elbows in the business, and against Dhiego Lima, he showcased why. Means put together a vicious clinch game that featured knees, elbows, and punches to take Lima out in the very first round. This moved Means up to a three-fight winning streak since losing to Neil Magny last May. He looked very reminiscent of Matt Brown in his performance, and one can’t help but wonder how much violence would ensue if those two ever got in the cage with each other.
Jucao is Back
We have witnessed several MMA fighters come up fairly unsuccessful in their first stint in the UFC, but then come back and look like absolute destroyers. UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, was one of those guys, but Vitor Belfort matches that description as does Thales Leites and several more. After his first round submission win over Mark Munoz, we can add Roan Carneiro to that list of resurging veterans. Jucao countered The Filipino Wrecking Machine’s takedown attempt with a guillotine, but then used that to transition on top and eventually to the back where he quite literally but Munoz’s lights out. The submission was a bit unsettling for some fans as Munoz appeared to be unconscious for quite some time; nevertheless, Carneiro’s name is now one to keep an eye on in the middleweight division.
El Cucuy is Coming
For a while now, TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson has been steadily rising up the lightweight ladder. He has taken out some real solid competition, and after UFC 184, Ferguson finds himself as high up the ladder as he has ever been when he dismantled Gleison Tibau in the first round. Tibau, a real mainstay veteran in the lightweight division, carried a bit of momentum with him against Ferguson, but El Cucuy’s accurate punches and knack for getting the submission proved too strong. Ferguson sent a blistering message to the rest of the lightweights that he is coming for them, one at a time.
Jake the Snake
After his successful UFC 184 showing against Josh Koscheck, it’s only a matter of time before Jake Ellenberger changes his nickname to “The Snake”. Ellenberger suffered three consecutive losses prior to his win over Koscheck, and needed this victory just as bad as anyone. While the fight featured a lot of stalking and slow-paced grinding throughout the first half, a ravaging guillotine attempt cracked the intensity up rather suddenly. Ellenberger was able to showcase a bit of his submission skills as he then transitioned to a north-south choke to elicit the tap out from a foaming Josh Koscheck. We’re used to seeing Ellenberger’s heavy-handed boxing approach, but we might be seeing Ellenberger finally turn that long-awaited page that knew “The Juggernaut” had.
Serious Upside for Holly Holm
A fighter’s UFC debut is a big deal – no matter who you are. But for someone being labeled as “the greatest female striker in MMA”, there is a certain level of expectation that comes with it. Holm stepped into the Octagon for the first time as a co-main event feature on a PPV, and there was rightfully a lot of pressure that came with it. While Holly Holm’s split decision victory over Raquel Pennington may not have lived up to the hype that proceeded Holm, it was a great way for her to get comfortable, and get the first time out of the way. Holm showcased fluid striking, footwork, cardio, and a physically imposing clinch game to out-score Pennington, who did very little to warrant a 29-28 decision from one of the judges. Look for Holm to do nothing but get better from here.
Rousey Gonna Rousey
In the main event of the evening, Ronda Rousey was supposed to face off against the toughest challenger to her yet in undefeated bantamweight destroyer “Alpha” Cat Zingano. What we go instead was nothing shy of complete ridicule. It was thought that Rousey’s 16-second KO over Alexis Davis couldn’t be topped, but Rousey’s 14-second tap out of Cat Zingano moved the record up once again. Zingano blitzed Rousey with a flying knee and a stunning takedown, but the expert Judoka immediately reversed position and grabbed the arm for her patented armbar. The crowd was stunned as what should have been a highly competitive match-up was instead turned into a walk in the park.
The question no becomes: what is next? It’s likely that the UFC will have to sideline Rousey despite her not taking any damage, but the women’s bantamweight champion has claimed that a movie is in fact next for her. In terms of defending her belt though, there is but one name that rings throughout the MMA community, and that is Cris Cyborg. Whether this fight will be made, or another contender will rise up, is unknown, but what is known is that Ronda Rousey is seemingly light-years ahead of anyone else in the bantamweight division.