UFC 184 was to begin the trend of UFC PPV cards featuring two title fights in 2015.

It seems to be the UFC’s approach this year to shore up their cards, and is a solid back-up plan in case a fighter falls to injury — which is exactly what happened here. Originally set to feature Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in the main event, Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano was bumped up when Weidman wound up hurt, and the UFC now has a chance to really make women’s MMA shine, with both the main and co-main events featuring female bantamweight bouts.

Rousey has proven star power, but never before has a single event relied solely on the popularity of the women’s bantamweight division. Holly Holm makes her debut in the aforementioned co-main event slot, and her arrival has been hotly anticipated by MMA fans, but will casual viewers take note? Hopefully, and hopefully the UFC pushes these fights hard.

Now lets take a closer look at what to watch for at UFC 184.

A Strong Debut From Holm

Holy Holm enters the UFC one of the hottest prospects not of the women’s bantamweight division, but of any division in recent memory. A celebrated professional boxer with titles in multiple weight classes, “The Preacher’s Daughter” has long been touted as one of the only legitimate threats to Ronda Rousey. Rousey, for her part, says she would love to fight her.

Over-hyped? Maybe. Holm’s wrestling defense and ground game have yet to really be tested, but she is outstanding on the feet, and trains out of Jackson-Winkeljohn, one of the top teams in MMA. She has rarely fought outside of New Mexico in both her MMA and boxing careers, so a venue like The Staples Center in Los Angeles, in front of a crowd much larger than she’s used to, may be a cause for some octagon jitters. However, she has been in some big fights, mainly in boxing, but also in Legacy FC, where she won the promotion’s inaugural women’s bantamweight crown.

With all that said, look for her to make a strong debut against twelfth ranked Raquel Pennington (Holm herself is ranked thirteenth in the division). A win will shoot Holm up into the top ten of the division. A finish may actually be her ticket to an immediate title shot.

A Battle For Relevancy

Josh Koscheck and Jake Ellenberger are two welterweights who have hit hard times. Consider this: Ellenberger, once considered a potential title contender, is ranked eleventh in the welterweight division, hasn’t won since 2013, and has lost three straight to Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler, and Kelvin Gastelum.

Koscheck, meanwhile, enters the fight with a nearly identical recent record: winless since 2012, on a three fight losing streak, with losses to Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler, and Tyron Woodley. “Kos” was also finished in his last two fights, against Lawler and Woodley.

That’s quite the fall for a fighter who once battled Georges St. Pierre for five rounds for the title. Koscheck will be making his 24th octagon appearance, which will put him one behind Gleison Tibau (who makes his 25th appearance earlier on the UFC 184 card).

Yet for all their time in the octagon and heights they achieved, one of these fighters will likely earn a pink slip following this bout. Koscheck could (like Frank Mir) potentially earn another bout with a fourth straight loss, as he can be a marketable villain and still has some name value (not to mention he has been a loyal soldier over the years), but this is the closest thing to a loser leaves town match that you’ll really find in the UFC.

This will all come down to who has more in the tank.

Rousey Being Pushed Into The Later Rounds

Only once has Ronda Rousey gone outside of the first round. In fact, only a small handful of her ten fights — all wins — have even left the first minute.

Look for that to change at UFC 184. Like Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, who has battled back from personal tragedy and serious injury, has both the skill and heart to take Rousey deeper into the fight. This could even be the first Rousey fight to go all five rounds.

Expect Rousey to come out on top, as she’s still way ahead of the rest of the division — but Zingano will test her like no other.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.