Well, it had to happen at some point. I’ve already read quite a few in-depth articles about this fight, so I’ll keep this one short –
What are the Lessons for Rousey & her Camp?
Let’s put a positive spin on this – everyone needs a nemesis. The default expectation for every fight was “Rousey by armbar”. UFC 193’s aftermath makes the women’s division a lot more exciting, and victories for Rousey from this point on will feel a million times more satisfying than before. You can’t fully appreciate a victory, without first feeling defeat.
Moving on to the pointers…
Don’t get Too Emotional
Getting too angry and emotional (and frustrated) can cause a massive adrenaline spike, and then massive adrenaline dump. I know because this has happened to me on 2 different occasions. Despite doing cardio & swimming everyday for my last fight; I was absolutely boll@cks after 2 minutes. Obviously taking big shots to the face doesn’t help either, nor does the frustration that comes with have a lack of success. You just get angrier, which is the opposite of what is required.
Flow state, not emotional state is optimal.
Have a Plan B
Rousey’s strength is often her aggression, but it was clearly backfiring on her in UFC 193, and her coach didn’t really seem to address this at the end of the first round.
She could have used more head movement, but it’s always tricky when you’re fighting a ‘head-kicker’, slipping to the outside seems to have got Hendo KO’d by head-kicks twice by Vitor Belfort.
Either way, if the ‘stalking’ down of Holm wasn’t working, which was always a possibility with her great great footwork – then there needs to be a plan B. Start using movement, shoot for a single leg, start using kicks (Holly didn’t want the takedown so this was an option), whatever – plan B should be available.
Diversify Striking & Takedowns(?)
Feel stupid for suggesting this, but against her athletic-equal, does Rousey need to work on some lowerbody takedowns?
Might be good to have some Plan B, or ’emergency’ takedowns in her skill-set.
Also her striking, is currently effective against most due to her power, but it’s like watching Robbie Lawler in UFC 45 – not too technical or diverse. Considering nobody wants to take her down, she could easily develop a range of kicks to compliment her current powerful punches and knees. I think elbows are under-utilised in general, in stand-up striking in the UFC.
Since nobody wants to take Ronda to the ground, she could make her opponent’s fight on ‘2 planes’ by dummying the takedowns, changing levels and keep them worrying about the possibility of a takedown, as well as a punch or kick.
It’s good in many ways (assuming she heals up in a reasonable time) than Ronda now has these challenges. Rousey still has the skills and the body to rule the women’s 135 division, she just needs to tweak a few tactics and change a few aspects of her preparation. Much like Chuck Lidell V Randy Couture – there first fight Randy won easily, but with a few small changes, Lidell came back stronger than ever…
Good luck anyway Ronda, a great champion always loses the title, but then comes back even stronger…