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The Fall Of Ronda Rousey

The Fall Of Ronda Rousey

The fall of Ronda Rousey is a cautionary tale for anyone who starts believing their own bullshit. The time to say you are the greatest ever is when reflecting on a career that is over, not midway through it.

For those who don’t follow MMA, allow me to enlighten you. For those who do, allow me to remind you.

It was only in November of 2015, just over a year ago that Joe Rogan, comedian, media personality, pod caster and UFC commentator was gushing about how she was a once in a generation talent.

Then the wheels fell off. In Melbourne Australia of all places, she met defeat for the first time at the hands (and feet) of Holly Holm. For some reason, Rousey, a Judo fighter, thought she could mix it with a world class boxer in the punching department.

Now this turned out to be a plainly foolish strategy. Never fight the other person’s fight. Fight to your strengths and their weaknesses. Anything else is a path to disaster.

This is where the problem with believing your own bullshit comes in. Holly Holm was an 8 to one underdog, and Rousey was supposedly unbeatable. Defeat is always a bitter pill to swallow, but it when it is considered unthinkable it is immeasurably more so.

The idea that in a two person contest the result is a foregone conclusion is utterly laughable. Never underestimate an opponent or overestimate your own abilities. All it takes is a single good punch to connect to change the course of the fight. Many lines of newspaper columns are written in the lead up to any contest about why this will happen or that will happen, but the words count for little once the contest begins.

So began the demise of Ronda Rousey’s MMA career. Over a year later she steps back in the octagon against Amanda Nunes. This was supposed to be a triumphant return for her. Of course her opponent had other ideas.

What Ronda did was, frankly, useless. I’m not one to criticise doers, because it is easy to snipe from the safety of an armchair, and without exception it is an incredibly courageous act to step in the ring, into the octagon, over any white line into a sporting contest where your body is on the line.

However in this case I feel it is warranted. To see a supposedly professional athlete make rudimentary errors that even a rank amateur like myself can see as plain as day is not good.

Standing flat footed in front of a dangerous opponent with chin held high and arms, well I don’t really know what they were doing, certainly not much in the way of an effective defence, is just inviting disaster. The idea that a contender for a world title in MMA had no footwork to speak of is almost inconceivable.

A quick google search on the legendary Bernard Hopkins can give you enough wisdom to help you survive an onslaught like that faced by Rousey. As he tucks his chin into his chest and puts his hands close to his cheeks, his forehead becomes his helmet. He talks of this in terms of a Roman soldier, his shoulders becoming the shield. As for getting hit on the chin, Hopkins says “I ain’t giving you that. You’ve got to earn it”(Yes I am indeed an admirer of Hopkins).

A fighter gets hit in the chin or cheek with a good shot, they are in trouble. But then, getting hit with a good shot is part of the game you’re in. If you can’t take a punch, you’re in the wrong game. And if you can’t take a shot to the forehead that hurts the opponents hand more than it hurts you, time to take up darts or something equally non threatening.

The thing is that Amanda Nunes didn’t have to earn Ronda’s chin. It was there to be hit whenever she wanted it.

With the glaring deficiencies in her stand up game exposed, that was it for Ronda. Forty eight seconds was all it took for Ronda’s comeback plans to be in tatters.

I must say, absolutely appalling coaching must take some of the blame. How you can put a fighter in there who is virtually defenceless against a striker of that quality, I don’t know.

In the end, respect to Rousey for what she has done in the sport. Respect to anyone who has the courage to step in that octagon. But now, her time is over.

About The Author


A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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