UFC 207 – The End of the Ronda Rousey Era

It has been quite some time that I haven’t posted anything so to end 2016 with a blog post, I’m going to write a short blog about UFC 207. Yes, I am also a UFC fan since more than a decade and I used to write a good number of MMA blog post too. So this is my take on Ronda Rousey’s return and brutal loss.

Ronda has always been the face of women’s MMA and the media has banked so much about her “invincibility” because of her undefeated run in the cage and made even more money after she finally succumb to Holly Holm’s head kick which finally tarnished her undefeated record. Even after her brutal defeat, it is still hard to imagine women’s MMA without the arm bar specialist hanging around.

Tonight (or today in my timezone),  Ronda’s era may have finally been laid to rest because of another technical knockout out loss from the exploding hands of Amanda Nunes who is the defending UFC bantamweight champion. It only took 48 seconds for the champ to dispatch Ronda and maybe retire her in the process. To be fair with Ronda, she’s the reason why women’s MMA is on the map and in the UFC. Without Ronda, women’s MMA may not have gained such gargantuan popularity.

As a fight fan and armchair analyst, it was a big mistake for Ronda to stand straight up against a knockout artist in Amanda “the lioness” Nunes. Ronda first and foremost is a Judoka by default. Though she learned considerable boxing skills along the way, it is a mile away against a fighter whose striking is her bread and butter.

Sure, Ronda knocked out Beth Correia  and Alexis Davis prior to her lost with Holly Holm but they were not exactly known as solid strikers. Here is the thing, in a Judo match you sometimes have to stand straight and firm almost sticking your head up while planting both feet on the ground (when you move you just almost slide your foot one at a time) to avoid getting off balanced and you need to stick your one arm straight at times while you hold the lapel, sleeve or collar before you bend it closer to you in a quick fashion as you drag your opponent to break his/her balance when you are about to throw or take him/her down.

These kind of Judo moves you always do routinely in your “randori” or practice to make it 2nd nature to you. Eventually this becomes a habit too. A bad habit if you are in a striking game. Having your head stick up like what Ronda did especially when she got hit by Amanda could spell disaster especially if you’re facing an opponent with nuclear hands.

Sure, Ronda looks great in her boxing mitt workout where she weaves and bob like the legendary Mike Tyson. Such crisp head movement was absent in her fight with Amanda and even with her previous fights, you could really tell she’s not a boxer because she isn’t. Though I believe her boxing skills improved along the way, its purpose is just to compliment her main arsenal which is her Judo skills.

Ronda seemed confident to trade with her opponents after she knocked out Alexis Davis and being confident is great but even confidence must be put in a proper place. Knowing her opponent Amanda who retired Meisha Tate in a devastating fashion, she should have avoided Amanda’s center point. Heck, she shouldn’t have traded shots with Amanda in the first place.

Miesha Tate pointed out in her new stint as a colour commentator that Ronda’s punch is strong but Amanda is a knockout artist. So far in Tate’s own words, in her fighting career, she has never been hit as hard as Amanda. Ronda’s chance of winning was in the clinching game where her chance of takedown or Judo throw is higher that would setup for an arm bar though we will never know for sure because Amanda herself is also a black belt in BJJ and a brown belt in Judo.

Obviously there was no head movement, no lateral movement and her strikes seemed half baked. She was in no business standing there in front of Amanda to be honest. The way I see it, Ronda’s time is probably over and I don’t think she has the time to cultivate and evolve as much as the other younger fighters do.

Finally, after steamrolling every opponent she’s faced from her Strikeforce championship days to her UFC championship reign, other women fighters have finally caught up. From Holly Holm to Amanda Nunes, two devastating loss is probably enough to cement her retirement plans and head for Hollywood with a 3 million dollar purse money plus the PPV cut from this 48 second beat down (Amanda reportedly got not even a fraction).

Ronda, you are a legend and without you, women’s MMA would have never been this massive. If ever you want to fight one more, please change camp. It is either you retire and move on or you change camp and fight on. Also, please be respectful and don’t just walk off after your loss.

Happy New Year everyone and God bless to all!!

p.s. Cyborg forget about Ronda, you got a fellow Brazilian in the midst. Cyborg vs Nunes!!

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