I watch the the first two years of UFC fights when Royce Gracie showed the importance of a good ground game as compared to stand up fighting. Did not watch much over the intervening years until a few weeks before UFC 193. I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a Ronda Rousey's match in the UFC and researched more about her. No doubt she is a spectacular MMA fighter.
Then I saw the Ronda Rousey vs Holy Holm fight, Holy Holm has won multiple weight class boxing championships and kickboxing championships and is fairly new to MMA.
She showed what a good boxer/kickboxer can do in the Octagon.
12-20-2015, 10:31 AM
Some good analysis:
You know what Rousey does—she's the queen of the hip throw and the armbar. Most competitive judoka fall back on a couple of throws, tokui-waza or favorite techniques, and know all the ins and outs, set ups and follow ups, that one could imagine for those few throws. Rousey's game was built around her harai-goshi and it remains that way today. In honesty, Rousey could probably throw half of the women she fights with stuff she never went to in her judo career, she's just that much more adept in the clinch. But most of the time it's that head and arm control and straight into an attempt on a hip throw.
Of course, Rousey's brilliance is in seeming to always be one step ahead in the clinch. Obviously that comes from a lifetime of trying to catch out the best judo players in the world, and suddenly being in with folks who can't counter her attempts and against whom she can basically go all out on offence. Her inside foot sweep against the cage on Sarah Kaufmann was perfect and you'll notice it came off of several changes of direction and intention. The epitome of Kyozu Mifune's old phrase:
If he comes to you, greet him. If he leaves, send him on his way.
Now as I've said before, the best way to go about beating an 'unbeatable' champion is to not focus on countering them or looking for cheap exploits for that one shot knockout. It is to take away their bread and butter and make them work a game they aren't used to. Think Anderson Silva being forced to lead, Georges St. Pierre with no jab, Renan Barao without his right low kick, Jon Jones without his low line kicks. So rather than saying “gotta work on that takedown defense” or “get yourself a judo coach,” let's work on reverse engineering the Rousey A-game, because so far no one has done that.
The 'fight' was a beautiful execution. Rousey was never in the game as Holm danced around her, angled off from her clumsy charges, and skewered her with left straights. The end came just a minute into the second round as Holm connected with her left high kick and sent Rousey to the canvas, unconscious.
The storm of uneducated opinion in the wake of the fight has been deafening and everyone wants to pretend that they always knew how to beat Rousey, they just didn't know if Holm was the 'level of athlete' to pull it off. When someone starts talking about 'A-level athletes' and ranking fighters by 'athleticism', you should immediately disregard their opinion on anything related to fighting. Yes, Holm is a big woman for her weightclass, and holds terrific endurance, but it was her discipline, her form, and her patience which won her this fight. Her choices and composition and not her 'athleticism'.