Ronda Rousey (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)Guessing Game: Who Can Dethrone UFC Champion Ronda Rousey? Stacey Lynn July 17, 2014 Spotlight Earning a 16-second technical knockout over the decorated Alexis Davis, Ronda Rousey has made a case to be regarded as the best woman in the sport. She gained a tremendous following after besting the top prospects in the division, and while her reign as champion has been exciting to watch, her timely finishes in the cage warrant little suspense for the outcome of her bouts. “She will be the one to defeat Rousey.” That was the promotional line when the UFC added Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Alexis Davis to shake things up a bit. However, Rousey would only need a combined one minute and 22 seconds in the UFC’s Octagon to finish those two adversaries. Not only did she prove victorious over two widely known female fighters, she disproved the theory that she is a one-trick pony by finishing both ladies with strikes. Rousey’s most formidable opponent to date was Miesha Tate, who took the champion into the third round for the first time in her fight career. Despite Tate’s efforts, she lost after Rousey secured her trademark armbar in the opening minute of the third frame. The widening divide between Ronda Rousey and the rest of the women’s bantamweight roster has left fans scratching their heads. So, what’s next? While fans enjoy watching their favorite fighter win, therein lies a great risk for Rousey to lose her appeal. UFC President Dana White doesn’t seem terribly concerned for the future of Rousey. He was recently observed saying he is “not concerned whatsoever. There’s still nine other girls out there in our top 10.” Although White is correct in making that statement, the UFC’s top 10 fighters on the women’s bantamweight roster are not terribly threatening to the champion. She has wiped out the top seven with the exception of Cat Zingano and Jessica Eye. That leaves Amanda Nunes, Jessica Andrade and Bethe Correia, and Nunes stands as the only arguable threat to Rousey. Given the current state of affairs, the UFC added a new name, one that some are claiming to be Rousey’s biggest threat yet. The name? Holly Holm. Holm enters the UFC women’s bantamweight division with an impressive resume. She earned an impressive 33-2-3 record in boxing and possesses a 7-0 mark in MMA. The former No. 1-ranked female boxer has proven herself in the sport of MMA with an unblemished record, a history of fast finishes and a reputation of being a hard-hitter. Holm will be an exciting addition to the talent-rich UFC division. However, “The Preacher’s Daughter” has some work to do before facing the champ. Holm has gone 7-0 in her MMA career, but it is important to note that her last three bouts were against opponents with a combined record of 15-13. Given her competition experience in boxing versus the experience level of her opponents, it’s no wonder she has gone undefeated. In signing with the UFC, she joins the likes of Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman and the aforementioned Tate, opponents with a higher caliber of talent compared to Holm’s opponents thus far. Challenges aside, Holm will find success in the division. Her size, strength and remarkable striking abilities will prove to be too overwhelming for some. A realistic (and fair) path for Holm to earn a title shot would be to climb her way through the ranks. Given her boxing skills and brutal knockout power, a bout opposite the hard-hitting Eye would surely be a crowd pleaser. Similarly, Holm’s ground-game abilities are hard to evaluate, and certainly that assessment would need to be made prior to facing Rousey. Due to her impeccable striking abilities, Holm hasn’t had to rely on wrestling and jiu-jitsu much, leaving match-ups against Davis, Julianna Pena and Shayna Baszler as very interesting pairings. If Holm can cruise through the aforementioned bantamweight prospects, then most certainly a title shot would be appropriate. But how marketable is Rousey vs. Holm? A title bout with Rousey is going to require suspense. Just as fans were excited to watch Jon Jones demolish opponents on his way to the top, fans were equally excited to watch him be challenged by Alexander Gustafsson, and it seems that’s where Rousey fans are. They are ready for Rousey to have her hands full. Three names have been thrown around to create marketability for Rousey’s next bout: Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Gina Carano and Holm. With Carano’s commitment to Hollywood impacting her availability and Cyborg’s uncertainty of a successful cut to 135 pounds, Holm is the last woman standing. The famed Jackson-Winkeljohn’s MMA standout has drawn a substantial following prior to inking her UFC contract, making her alliance with the UFC mutually beneficial. So, how successful of a pay-per-view could Holm vs. Rousey be? Exponentially successful, if executed right. As Holm continues to build her record on the biggest stage in the world, it can be safely assumed that she will gain more publicity and notoriety in the sport. If Holm keeps the momentum she has had, she will be picking the division apart, one intelligent strike at a time. If Holm can prove to maintain her effectiveness on the ground, she would be a shoo-in to take on the champ. However, Dana White recently stated Holm would not get an immediate title shot, which is reassuring news for prospects Zingano and Nunes. Who will be “the one” to defeat Rousey? Only time and talent will tell.