UFC’s ‘new Ronda Rousey’ set to debut in early 2021 after blitzing Dana White’s Contender Series
Ronda Rousey is one of the most influential women in the history of modern sport, let alone MMA, and her Hall of Fame spot is well-deserved.
She leaves a legacy that has enabled women to be seen as legitimate draws in combat spots, and one might now argue ladies such Amanda Nunes are taking it to an even higher level performance wise.
In sport, fans love a ‘next’ somebody – and here we have someone many feel performs a lot like Rousey.
Luana Pinheiro secured her UFC contract by knocking out her opponent on Dana White’s Contender Series last Tuesday and the 8-1 star is beginning to gain attention.
The Brazilian sensation is, like Rousey, a judo specialist, but she has that X-factor too with her last two victories, arguably the hardest fights of her career, coming via knockout.
The 26-year-old admits Rousey is a big inspiration for her career, also.
“I wanna show how my judo can be used in MMA, and I want to conquer what she conquered in MMA,” Pinheiro told MMA Junkie. “I also want to be an example and a motivation for new girls like me who are starting in MMA because if I’m here today, it’s because I saw Ronda Rousey fight and give me motivation for being in this way.”
Pinheiro is expected to make her debut in the 115-pound strawweight division in the first quarter of 2021.
Of course, Zhang Weili is the current UFC strawweight champion and last March she had arguably the greatest female mixed martial arts contest of all-time as she defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 248.
The only loss on Pinheiro’s record came via a split decision in just her third fight, but otherwise, much like Rousey, she has secured finishes in all but her very first victory.
She’s a very skilled choke-artist with guillotine and rear-naked chokes on her CV, but even more like Rousey, she has two armbar finishes, too.
Another thing that’s Rousey-esque? All six of her last victories have come in the first round.
We can promise you, Pinheiro is most certainly one to watch.