After her 34-second August 1 victory over Bethe Correia, talks of Ronda Rousey being the world’s toughest woman have taken the internet hostage: “She can’t be beat.” “She’s invincible.” “She’s a Super Saiyan!” And from the looks of things, tales of her badassery will continue to echo from all corners of the web, as fighters of her caliber are essentially non-existent.
After all, only 25 percent of her UFC fights have lasted more than one minute, with only one of those outlasting the first round. So, while the rest of the world patiently waits for a real-life contender to emerge from the shadows and rival her prowess in the octagon, Power Up Gaming would like to throw a few fantasy fighters her way to see how they might fare. Will Ronda be known as the toughest lady in gaming as well? Here’s a top 10 list of the virtual female fighters who might (but probably wouldn’t) stand a chance against the world’s toughest woman.
Fight Parameters: These matches will be standard UFC championship bouts with five rounds at five minutes each. No weapons allowed. Victory is achieved by rendering a fighter unconscious or making them concede by way of submission.
10. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil series)
She’s a member of S.T.A.R.S. and, if Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has taught us anything, she’s not afraid to brag about it. Although she’s been brainwashed and put in numerous tough situations, she’s always found out a way to come out alive, which is more than most of the original Resident Evil cast can say. Having been in many of the RE titles and even making an appearance in the fighter MvC2, Valentine is a scrapper. She’ll punch, kick, stab and shoot her way to victory, and when a situation really looks bleak, she’ll even enlist the aid of the persistent zombies she’s used to taking out. But is it enough to best the world’s toughest woman?
At 5 foot 8 inches tall and 123 pounds, she’s taller than Rousey by an inch but also lighter by 12 pounds. And despite her history with the undead, Ronda’s going to prove much more agile and well… alive. The time Jill’s served in the army and multiple agencies will surely have given her a fair share of combat training, but without her trusty knife and gun combo she’s going to find herself in a world of hurt quickly. We also have to take into account the fact that Jill isn’t only 12 pounds lighter than Rousey but also her senior by 13 years. This age and weight gap certainly won’t help Ms. Valentine in an already one-sided scuffle, and although she might have been a member of S.T.A.R.S. she’ll certainly be seeing them by the end of this fight.
Outcome: Jill makes it to round two but gets submitted by way of armbar within the first minute. Without the use of her familiar weapons she doesn’t have the stamina or strength to throw down with the younger Ronda.
9. Cassie Cage (Mortal Kombat X)
The Mortal Kombat newcomer has the ego of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade’s agility, and, unlike Jill Valentine, is a much better age match-up with Rousey. Although guns and a baton do make up part of her moveset, they aren’t all Cassie has at her disposal. A myriad of throws, grabs, kicks and flips make up her arsenal, which proves her as a competent brawler. She’s also inherited more than Johnny’s cocky attitude in her shadow abilities, which will give her a slight speed and power boost in some attacks. This will give her a slight edge when trading hits with the champ.
Despite shadow attacks giving Ms. Cage an advantage, that falls to the wayside when the trash talk inevitably comes out. Cassie is, of course, no stranger to this being the offspring of slick Johnny Cage, but she hasn’t taunted the likes of Rousey, who feeds off of such behavior. The last opponent to mock Rousey wound up taking a nap 34 seconds into the fight, and while Cassie Cage is leagues above Bethe Correia, she’ll surely meet a similar fate when she fires up the rowdy judo queen.
Outcome: Cassie loses by TKO two minutes into the second round. She was too busy talking to notice the right hook that hurtled toward her jaw. Night night, Cassie. See you in the Netherrealm.
8. Makoto (Street Fighter series)
This spirited Street Fighter youth is similar to Rousey in many ways, including her fighting style, confidence and laser-like focus. Additionally, she lost her father at a young age, similar to the UFC star, and has grown up with martial arts as an outlet for her energy. With a solid physique at such a young age in Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, she is sure to be even stronger now. Her biggest asset will come in her familiarity with different fighting styles. Although she’s a practitioner of a made-up martial art, she has faced opponents with expertise ranging from karate to sumo wrestling. She is also deceptively fast and has been known to momentarily incapacitate foes with a choke.
Her speed, combined with her ultra strong chops and flying kicks, make for a devastating array of hits that can come quickly and without warning. However, the Japanese scrapper comes into the fight with a strong disadvantage: she’s shorter than Ronda by nearly half of a foot and 12 pounds lighter. Rousey will more than likely match ferocity with Makoto and her ability to adapt will throw the smaller combatant off balance, with the fight eventually going to the floor. This is a place where no sane person wants to be when Ronda’s across from them.
Outcome: Makoto gets a few solid hits in and the crowd cheers for a true underdog, but the match comes to a close when Rousey finds an opening and puts the Rindo-kan expert on her back. The match ends 30 seconds into to third round by way of submission. You guessed it, another armbar.
7. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider )
Video game archaeological ass-kicking at its absolute finest (sorry, Nathan) and one of the first female protagonists to make us clench our butt cheeks with death-defying heroism. Yep, we’re talking Lara Croft. Although some might be upset with her just being #7, her chances deteriorate significantly with the loss of her trademark dual pistols, bow and brutal ice pick. Also, Lara would be coming into the fight at 23 years old. Although she is a natural explorer and has been known to take on foes much bigger than herself, her young age – paired with a lack of extensive combat training – would give Rousey the distinct advantage. However, Lara isn’t just known for her fighting skills, but also being able to survive virtually any situation with a mixture of quick reflexes, confidence and a sharp intellect. This means she might have to take a few glancing hits before being comfortable enough to fight back, but when she does, Ronda might be in trouble.
On the other hand, the MMA queen is also known for her quick adaptation mid-combat, hence 0nly one of her matches exceeding the five-minute mark. Wits play a major role in this competition and will also force Ronda to fight in a way we’ve never seen from her before. Size-wise, the raider is five foot six inches and around 120 pounds. Again, we see a noticeable mass difference between the two contenders; something that can sway even the closest of matches. This fight drags as the two constantly analyze each other but comes down to one key moment where the two both feel they are at an advantage.
Outcome: With size on her side and a better overall understanding of hand-to-hand combat, Rousey is able to capitalize on the opening and overpower Croft when she believes the odds are in her favor. If it were exploring dangerous tombs or climbing a mountain, there would be no contest, but this is a fight and the rowdy one takes this less than 30 seconds into the third round. In order to win, though, Ronda has to get creative and subdues Croft with a surprise knee bar.
6. Samus Aran (Metroid series)
Galactic bounty hunter by trade, human bowling ball by choice, this Nintendo veteran has faced just as many, if not more, alien species than there are types of martial arts. She has traveled the galaxy and taken up not one, but two, spots in the newest installment of Smash Bros. (We’re not sure which accomplishment is more impressive). It’s safe to say that Ms. Aran knows her fair share about beating butt. She’s also the most physically intimidating challenger yet, coming in at six foot three inches and weighing 198 pounds without her trademark armor. She has even been called a “super athlete” in her own series and has shown incredible physical prowess after training by the ancient alien civilization, the Chozo.
This seems like a pretty cut and dry win for the space shooter, but Ronda doesn’t buy into the hype. Although Samus might be able to scrap with a giant, purple pterodactyl and some pirates on the regular, she always does it with the help of some sort of super suit. In this fight she won’t be afforded that luxury, as the suit would most assuredly be considered a weapon. Take away her suit and you have what? Well, still a tall, almost 200-pound human being with cybernetic enhancements, but a human nonetheless. We’re also willing to bet Samus has built some sort of dependency on the powers afforded to her by the suit. What is normally her biggest asset will soon be her undoing as she’ll find out a human was the biggest threat to her all along.
Outcome: Aran takes some time adjusting to a more primitive fighting style and takes a few good hits in the process. By the time she retaliates, the effects of her beating are taking their toll and adrenaline kicks in. Being as big as she is gives her a nice reach advantage and before Rousey knows what hit her, she has a swollen eye and an aching jaw – but she isn’t done yet. The match takes yet another turn when Ronda ducks a punch a brings the bounty hunter down by her legs. After a long struggle on the ground Samus is submitted by an armbar. It doesn’t matter how big you are when someone’s pulling your arm out of its socket. Samus goes down two minutes into the third round.
5. Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy 7)
Pre-pubescent boys of the internet rejoice. Your favorite bar hostess heartthrob is putting on her famed gloves (padded in this case) and getting ready for the fight of her life. In terms of strength, Tifa isn’t a person to be taken lightly. Her strength stat was only bested in Final Fantasy VII by protagonist Cloud Strife, and that dude basically spends his days swinging around a metal girder. Her ultimate limit break, Final Heaven, has her punching an opponent so hard that lava erupts from the ground beneath them in a grand fashion that would make Captain Falcon jealous. Chances are, if Tifa’s moving her fist towards you, you better move out of the way. She’s also no newcomer to stepping into the ring as she’s been a playable character in fighting games Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy and lesser known PlayStation title, Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring (We don’t make the names; we just report them.).
Despite her Hulk-like hands of steel, Tifa might very well be a one-trick pony. You’d be a fool to throw hands with this fighter, so a submission seems like the only option against Tifa. But given Ronda’s willingness to accept most challenges, I’d say she’d want to see what all the fuss is about. Her curiosity could very well be her undoing and at one point it might seem like she’s bitten off more than she can chew, but eventually she’d back down and find a new plan of attack. Again, Ronda is taller than her challenger as Tifa only comes in at five feet four inches, but the two are otherwise matched at 135 pounds and 28 years old (Ronda was born February 1, 1987 and Tifa was born May 3, 1987).
Outcome: For three minutes, Ronda and Tifa trade blows with Rousey taking noticeably more damage. The fight begins to look bleak but common sense beats out pride at the end near the first round and the two combatants hit the mat. Lockhart taps out after a well-placed armbar but Rousey comes out looking far worse. The fight lasts less than a round but “rowdy” Ronda takes the biggest beating of her life. Still a win in my book!
4. Chun-Li (Street Fighter series)
From one of the strongest punchers to the fastest kicker in fighting game history, Chun-Li is one tough cookie. Again, being a street fighter, Chun-Li has seen many styles of fighting, including the MMA style Rousey would use against her. Not only does she fight against an incredible amount of arts, but she’s one of the most learned fighters in the series, practicing tai chi, capoeira, Chinese martial arts, battle karate and tae kwon do. Using this mixture, Chun-Li created her own technique, much like Bruce Lee, and is a unique fighter that even the most experienced martial artists would have a tough time figuring out.
It’s because of this that the fight would go on for an excessive amount of time, similar to the Croft/Rousey bout. However, Chun-Li has the experience that Lara needed in order to come out on top. Chun-Li’s stats again create another imbalance with her only being five foot six inches, but her penchant for kicks will quickly close the gap between these two. Unfortunately, her weight is listed as “secret,” as the fighter chooses not to disclose such information, but photographs would suggest her being lighter than Ronda. At the end of the day, this one comes down to who wants it more.
Outcome: Ronda’s not ready to give up the belt and although Chun-Li would like to prove herself, she’ll have already done just that with her extensive career on the streets and one of Rousey’s longest matches. The fight stretches into almost the fourth round with Rousey looking for the takedown and Chun-Li keep her at bay with swift kicks. The stalemate ends when Ronda grabs a kick and gets in close on the street fighter. Chun-Li manages to wiggle free but only in time to catch a right hook to the jaw.
3. Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
She’s a witch and she’s not shy about it. Flaunting an intense haircut, hip glasses and the tallest stilettos you’ve ever seen, one might question Bayonetta’s ability to tussle, but don’t mistake fashion sense for fragility, because the two certainly don’t go hand in hand. Even without the guns she totes in order to slay angels, demons and everything in between, she is a trained killer and will dispatch any foe that comes at her with ill intent. Not only can she wipe out enemies with guns, fist or foot but also… hair?! That’s right, when she’s angry enough she doesn’t even need to lift a finger to finish you off; she just takes out her scrunchie.
Rousey stands little chance at taking on such a mighty foe and just when you thought she couldn’t be more in trouble, the stats on Bayonetta make matters even more daunting. Bayonetta’s weight is 4.67 Umbran Witch Weight and her stature is 11.951 Umbran Witch Height. What that even means we may never know; but it doesn’t sound good. When you start measuring stuff in witch, all bets are off. Take away her guns and you still have a god-like fighter capable of unspeakable feats. What would a mere human do to compete with that?
Outcome: Bayonetta toys with Rousey laughing the whole way through. This lasts for three rounds until the world finds out, gasp, the world’s toughest woman really is a Saiyan. Not strong enough to go full Super Saiyan, but having the power awoken inside of her, Rousey glows red with power and takes the witch by surprise. The only thing worse than being put in an armbar by Ronda Rousey is being put in an armbar by the rowdy Saiyan. The match ends with a broken witch arm.
2. Android 18 (Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3)
Dragon Ball Z hard-ass during the Cell saga and Krillin’s wife; Android 18 is said to have the power to take down Super Saiyans, and remained a strong Z fighter for many episodes past her prime. A feat that Yamcha, Krillin, Piccolo and Tien can only dream of saying. Despite her holy matrimony with everybody’s favorite dead guy, this cyborg can spar with the best of them. She took on Super Saiyan Vegeta and broke not one but both of his arms. She also bested the “world’s strongest man” when she fought Hercule but was so disinterested with the fame that she let him win. Will Ronda face the same humiliation? Can she overcome her greatest challenger yet?
Although it’s hard to see how Rousey could pull this one out of the bag, she at least has the power of the Saiyans on her side. And being an avid Dragon Ball Z fan in her youth, Ronda’s favorite character was Vegeta. She’s even stated she had a “cartoon crush” on him during an interview, and everyone knows that when a Saiyan witnesses the savage beating of a loved one they rise to the occasion to right the wrong, ala Krillin. Android 18’s would soon learn that breaking Vegeta’s arms would be her biggest mistake.
Outcome: The match starts and Rousey asks for all the positive energy of the world, which we generously donate to her cause. The accrued energy and rage for her opponent transform her into the Super Saiyan with one cinematic explosion, and the two fighters burst into dramatic dialogue. For four rounds the two exchange mildly witty insults and passive aggressively insinuate that the other is “going down”. The crowd lets out one, gigantic yawn. Once the two realize there’s only a round left they start with the face-punching and ki blasting, trading blow after staggering blow. The banter seems to be years in the past as each exchange seemingly slows down time. They both fly back in the air (Yes. They’re flying now.) and charge toward each other in a blur and punches simultaneously connect to the jaws. After a dramatic pause Android 18 falls unconscious and cheer for Ronda fills the arena. Only five seconds remained in the fifth and final round. As usual, the unnecessary amount of banter was totally worth it.
1. Jigglypuff (Pokémon series)
Pink, round and a member of the original 151, this singing puffball has terrorized us since the original Smash Bros. and the dawn of our little sibling’s existence. While she might not be much to look at, this Pokémon is a force to be reckoned with and unbeknownst to Rousey, has a secret weapon up her sleeve: the power of cuteness. Not that Rousey seems like the type of person to care much for Jiggs, but her love of Pokémon is a well-known fact that will surely create an internal struggle during the fight. Jigglypuff, being the dastardly deviant that she is, will take advantage of that in all of the worst ways.
Weighing in at 12 pounds and peaking just above one foot, the size difference is drastic. Jigglypuff’s pound will most likely tickle on the seasoned fighter’s face and her floaty movement will do nothing but keep the crowd thoroughly entertained. Even if she has the power of cuteness, what hope does she stand if her attacks fail to stagger the newfound Super Saiyan? The only thing the boisterous ball has going for it is its short arms that would surely be impossible to put in any sort of hold.
Outcome: The match starts and a bewildered Rousey can’t believe her eyes. It’s actually a living, breathing Pokémon right in front of her eyes. The fangirl in her is going crazy, but the audience is cheering for puff blood. The two meet in the center of the octagon and examine each other for a quick second. Ronda is almost crying; she’s so excited to see a Pokémon. Like any sane ’90s kid, “rowdy” Ronda picks up the pink orb and shows an uncontrollable, huge grin. The kid in her is going wild. Jigglypuff starts to sing and the champ is overcome with drowsiness. Her eyes shudder and her legs sway. She drops the singing Pokemon and the lullaby finally works its magic. Ronda Rousey falls flat onto the mat. A referee walks up and calls the fight, leading to a symphony of “boos” and general displeasure from the crowd. The best match-up for the MMA expert is the smallest and shortest of the group. But what she lacks in size, she makes up for in nostalgia; every gamer’s biggest weakness.