Showdown Joe On The Dissaray In The Women's Bantamweight Division

MMA

On November 15th, Holly Holm shocked the MMA world when she defeated Ronda Rousey for the UFC’s Bantamweight Title at UFC 193. Since then, a span of just eight months, we have seen two new champions and a multitude of contenders emerge from all corners of the globe.

In March, Holm lost the title to Miesha Tate in the co-main event for UFC 196. And the opening bout of the pay per view broadcast, Amanda Nunes defeated Valentina Shevchenko, in a bout many people barely showed any interest in … except for the UFC matchmaking team.

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They granted Nunes a title shot vs. Tate, while eventually pitting Shevchenko vs. Holm. Two meaningless bouts to the vast majority of observers, including the betting public that saw Miesha a -350 favourite while this past weekend Holm closed at -310 for her bout.

The MMA Gods laughed their way to the bank, as both underdogs - Nunes and Shevchenko - emerged victorious in their bouts, despite no one (with the exception of their friends, families and the hindsight is 20/20 crowd) giving them any chance, whatsoever.

Another top contender, Cat Zingano recently fell short to the lower ranked Juliana Pena, with the two now neck and neck in the rankings, Zingano and #5 and Pena now at #4.

But despite this division appearing to be a complete mess, I believe it sets the stage for some exceptional match-ups that will play out quite nicely for the rest of 2016.

The Champ needs a challenger: will it be the woman she defeated in March, who just took out the former champ? Or will the UFC grant Pena a title shot? Perhaps Rousey sees this as the perfect opportunity to return to the octagon?

And who should be next for former champions Tate and Holm? A rematch perhaps? Or should Tate tangle with Zingano instead … a rematch Miesha would be more than happy to avenge, considering how she disagreed with how their first bout came to an end.

Perhaps Tate could face Shevchenko in a #1 contender bout? Or Shevchenko vs. Pena instead?

And what will the UFC do with Holm, who is coming off two losses? Does Ronda perhaps think now is the perfect time to avenge her loss vs. Holly, seeing as the latter is coming off two straight defeats, with the pressure of a third potentially being too much of a huge mental hurdle for her opponent to deal with? Buy any edge necessary, be it physical or mental folks.

There are matchups that haven’t even been mentioned here that could be announced in the coming days and weeks. There are also names out there that by the end of the year, were not even written here that could continue to rock this division like what seems to be no other in MMA.

Now if Cristiane Cyborg Santos could just cut those extra 5lb an make the 135 lbs limit - how insane would this division truly be? Yes - just another MMA guy wondering out loud. But alas, my sincerest apologies for throwing another twist into this division. #SorryNotSorry.

By Showdown Joe Ferraro

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