On the heels of Paige VanZant’s third round armbar submission over Alex Chambers at UFC 191, many have hailed VanZant as the next Ronda Rousey. While the comparison between the two is natural due to their photogenic looks and ability to crossover to mainstream entertainment and media, the two are still miles apart in MMA dominance and skills. The 6-1 VanZant has 3 finishes in her 7 professional fights while Rousey has knocked out or submitted all 12 of her foes in dominant fashion.
When reviewing all of the female strawweights in the MMA scene, the one most worthy of being compared to Ronda Rousey in terms of finishing rates is current Invicta FC Strawweight Champion Livia Renata Souza. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native who trains out of Atos BJJ and Team Maximo MMA turned pro in 2013 and has built up a pro record of 8-0 with 7 submission victories. Five of her submission victories have come in the first round. Like Ronda Rousey, Souza has a judo based and has been training in the sport since the age of 7. In addition to her BJJ and judo background, Souza has also fought in 4 amateur muay thai fights.
After just over 2 years as a professional fighter, Souza upset Katja Kankaanpaa by triangle choke in the 4th round of their title fight at Invicta 21 on April 24th 2015 to win the Invicta crown. Kankaanpaa entered the fight with a 10-1 record, including a decision victory over current UFC fighter Aisling Daly. Souza is likely to face highly touted 5-0 Alexa Grasso in her first title defense. The UFC basically purchased the contracts of many Invicta’s previous strawweight fighters to build up the division in the UFC. It is very possibly that if Souza continues to tear through her division in Invicta, we will eventually see her in the Octagon.
Here is a video of Souza working out prior to her fight with Kankaanpaa.
Here is Souza in her fifth pro fight against Bianca Reis which she won in the first round with a triangle choke.
Here is Souza’s third pro fight against Andressa Rocha which she won with an armbar submission in the second round.