Ronda Rousey is the baddest chick on the planet.
We already knew that, but if there were still any doubters – even just a few – she put them to rest at UFC 190 Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro.
Against an insolent opponent who appeared to be her greatest challenge, Rousey was ruthless and efficient. Naturally, her brilliant first-round knockout of Bethe Correia leads off today’s Talking Points.
1. Can anyone beat Ronda Rousey?
That’s a question with a simple answer: No.
Rousey is 12-0 with 11 first-round finishes. She didn’t even need to take Correia, who was 9-0, to the ground with her judo. She used incredibly fast hands, overwhelmed her with strikes and won in a mere 34 seconds.
Rousey set up Correia with a knee, then threw a left hand and a thundering right that landed on Correia’s temple and dropped her face down in a heap. Referee John McCarthy stopped the fight immediately.
In her past four fights, Rousey has needed a combined 130 seconds to close out her opponents. And consider this: In the UFC bantamweight division, Rousey has defeated the No. 1 contender (Miesha Tate) twice and the Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 once each.
Up next: Tate, for a third time
2. What’s 10 years between friends?
The last time they fought, in 2005, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira engaged in one of the most memorable bouts in MMA history. They’re a little older and a little slower now, but Rua and Nogueira still offered an entertaining fight in turning back the clock.
The result was the same, however. Rua, who had lost four of his previous five fights, won a unanimous (although not entirely popular) decision, despite being rocked in the first round and absorbing a slew of shots from Little Nog.
“I was a bit groggy for a while,” Rua said inside the Octagon, “but I knew I had to get back in the fight.”
3. A big win for Bigfoot.
No, make that a massive win. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva had three losses and one draw in his previous four fights, making Saturday’s bout against Soa Palelei critically important to his career going forward.
Silva spent much of the first round on his back, but he came out firing in the second, using a knee and an uppercut to put Palelei on the canvas and finishing him with more punches. No doubt, Bigfoot (19-7) is back, at least temporarily.
4. Claudia Gadelha is ready for the champ.
When she faced Joanna Jedrzejczyk last December at UFC Fight Night in Phoenix, Gadelha fought brilliantly. She lost a close split decision, but it didn’t dissuade her from believing she was the better fighter.
After scoring a lopsided unanimous decision win over veteran Jessica Aguilar, who was making her UFC debut, Gadelha (13-1) called out Jedrzejczyk, the current strawweight champion – and UFC president Dana White.
“Dana White, make my title fight happen,” she said, pointing toward the boss sitting at ringside. “I’m the best strawweight in the division.”
She proved it with a formidable stand-up performance, bloodying Aguilar’s nose early, landing 129 significant strikes and going 4-for-4 on takedown attempts.
5. A jiu jitsu clinic. Yes, it was.
That’s what UFC announcer Joe Rogan called Demian Maia’s victory over Neil Magny, who came in with a seven-fight win streak. Maia is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and a two-time world champion, and he was in control for virtually all of their two rounds.
Maia, rated No. 6 in the UFC welterweight division, used a rear naked choke to lock up the win against Magney, who was ranked No. 13 and was looking to move into the top 10. But this loss clearly stalled Magny and will likely push Maia into the top five.
6. If he isn’t already there, Warlley Alves belongs on your watch list.
The Brazilian welterweight used a guillotine choke to submit Nordine Taleb in the second round of the prelims, improving his record to 10-0. His career is clearly on the upswing, with five wins by submission and one via knockout.
Alves is just 24, but he’s already got an impressive resume, having won The Ultimate Fighter Brazil finale in May 2014. His submission win over Marcio Alexandre earned him a bonus for performance of the night.
Could a fight against a top-15 opponent be next?
Michael Martinez is a longtime sports journalist and former staff writer at The New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News and FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMMartinez