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Addressing the state of the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Division/Title

I’m sure you all know the story by now: A few months ago, Ronda Rousey was dominating the competition inside the octagon. She held onto the newly formed UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title for over 1,000 days. “The Rowdy One” was untouchable. All of that changed in an instant when Holly Holm defeated (cough dominated cough) her at UFC 193. Rousey hasn’t competed since.

Since Holm’s “upset”* victory (*she won in pretty dominating fashion, enough is enough with this “upset” talk*), the title has been involved in a game of hot potato. From the inception of the title on the UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz pre-fight press conference in 2012 to today, the title has moved in this order:


Ronda Rousey (1,074)

Holly Holm (111)

Miesha Tate (126)

Current champ Amanda Nunes (15+)

Keep in mind, several days are added for recovery time, training, etc.

What happened? How can a title change hands that fast after being hyped up over an extended period of time? While the title was defended in the main event at UFC 200, it was due to difficult circumstances that changed everything (Jon Jones being involved in another controversy, among other things). I think its about time Rousey returned to bring a nice boost to a deflated division.

I’m not saying that Ronda is the answer to all of our problems. While it would be great to have her back ASAP, I don’t believe her return to the octagon will fix everything. I’m just looking for a little stability in the bantamweight division. Once considered the freshest division in the UFC the past few years, the bantamweight title has now been shared more times than the UFC would probably like to admit.

With Amanda Nunes, the UFC and its fans might have found what they have been looking for. While her win at UFC 200 seemed a little easy, that was only because the Brazilian made it look that way. The current champion can help stabilize the women’s bantamweight division by making it fun again. There are many opportunities on the horizon, and Nunes is known to take on any challenge. It’s up to the rest of the division to step up and provide some entertainment for fans.

Someone who can help Nunes bring some excitement back is the 17-time former Muay Thai World Champion Valentina Shevchenko (13-2). The 28-year old defeated Holly Holm this weekend at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago via unanimous decision. She has experience against Nunes, fighting her in a losing effort at UFC 196. The fight was three rounds, but it didn’t seem like enough time for Valentina to warm up. During her five round match against “The Preachers Daughter”, Valentina gained momentum in the later rounds, when it mattered the most. She believes that is the key to victory, and she wants to prove it in a rematch against Nunes for the title.


Besides Shevchenko, there’s Bethe Correia (9-2), Julianna Pena (8-2) and Sara McMann (9-3), among others. I believe its time these ladies step up and get a chance to fight. No more waiting, lets see what these ladies can do when motivated.

Here’s hoping the bantamweight division has a profitable/productive rest of the year. In a few months time we will see how strong it can be, with or without Rousey.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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