How to stop Ronda Rousey


When a fighter with a distinctive discipline competes in mixed martial arts, opponents characteristically make mistakes that are very simple, if you know the discipline in question. This goes right back to the origins of the sport.

When Royce Gracie tapped everyone out in the earliest UFCs, the opponents were painfully unaware of even the most basic submission defenses. It is easier to learn to sprawl than it is to shoot a double, but when wrestling was new, opponents fell like 9 pins. When kickboxers like Maurice Smith learned to block basic submissions and sprawl, their opponents didn't even know how to keep their hands up.

If you watch early UFCs, the lack of awareness of the importance of position on the ground is so glaring even an untrained fan can catch it.

Russian Judoka and UGer JudoM sees the same pattern with Ronda Rousey's Judo-based style in MMA. He argues that future opponent's need to learn to counter Judo basics, and specifically that practicing endless arm bar defenses is missing the point - to stop the armbar, keep the fight standing.

Stopping Ronda's Judo

From: judom
Member Since: 10/31/05
Posts: 2689

Haven't posted in a while, but thought I may chime in a bit on a topic I am a little bit familiar...:)

It seems to me that many girls are doing a TERRIBLE job at studying Ronda's judo game. In particular, people are talking about her arm-bar, but the reality is, none of them have been able to stop the takedown. So that is the main problem to me.

1. Takedowns: Ronda, back in her Judo day, had a somewhat "classic" Judo. She was definitely not what you would call a throwing/takedown master. In particular, she's been taken down many times with leg attacks: low singles and knee picks, and countered with supplex type throws. Surprisingly, in MMA, nobody has really tried them yet.

2. Grips: The girls so far don't know how to break any of her grips. Its horrible to watch. Ronda gets in position for heap throws and they don't know what to do with her grip. Typically, they try to stick their butt out to prevent the heap throw and then get swept with a trip. From watching them, I am sure they haven't spent much time, if any, studying how to break the grips. They need to practice hand fighting much more: you can't allow such basic grips so quickly and indeed, in her Judo matches, she rarely, if ever got such dominant grips so quickly. In particular, Ronda uses very few grips unlike other top level female Judo fighters: her Judo is not very versatile in the stand up.

3. Moving feet: They don't know how to move their feet. For those that follow freestyle / folkstyle wrestling, I am sure you know John Smith, who always emphasizes that the key skill in wrestling is knowing how to move your feet. So far, Tate and the others have shown total lack of competency in that department. Again, if you watch her Judo matches, you'd know that many of the throws are easily avoidable when you know how to circle out.

4. Pace: 99% of female fighters are not used to the pace that Ronda puts on them, but its standard in Judo where its only 5 min and the game is so fast and intense. No matter what, Ronda will always come out very aggressively because that is in her DNA, and it seems many girls are just not ready for that intensity. Even wrestling matches are less intense than Judo.

5. Proper coaching: back in the day, I remember Rhadi Ferguson coached Thiago Alves for his bout with Karo, specifically how to deal with Judo-type situations and it worked out great for Thiago: in many Judo specific situation he neutralized Karo.

So constructively, I'd say McMann, Rousey's next opponent should:
•Study Ronda's Judo matches.
•Focus on low-level (e.g. ankle picks) attacks.
•Focus on (especially) preventing and breaking Judo grips.
•Match the pace.
•Get proper coaching from top level Judo coaches for all of the above.

I don't think a successful strategy resolves around heavily practicing the arm-bar defense or even the ground work, but in managing the stand-up portion correctly.


tags: UFC   Ronda Rousey (detail)  

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Recent Comments »

Wasa-B site profile image  

1/11/14 8:00 PM by Wasa-B

Yeah I think the media obligations burnt both GSP and Diaz. Those guys never get tired but they both did in that fight.

judom site profile image  

1/11/14 5:03 AM by judom

ChipewaBJJ,To answer your question: "...I think it's extremely silly to suppose about what any high-level judoka would be able to do against Ronda in an MMA fight. You say she would have trouble taking them to the ground because they can counter her judo with better judo. What happens when Ronda pushes them up against the cage and clinches? What happens when they take a punch to the face? ..."I didn't say any high-level Judoka would do well vs. Rousey in MMA. Some are just not cut out for MMA and would not do well. What I would say is that if you take the top 50 female Judokas in the U57kg, U63KG and U70kg today and train them the way Ronda trained for a year in MMA, Ronda would likely not be the champion. There are a bunch of girls that are younger, stronger, more talented, and have better all around technique than Ronda, etc. I would say in the sample of top 50, Ronda would rank roughly in the range 10th-15th.But it would take literally 20-40 years, if at all, before MMA is being able to consistently recruit top Olympic athletes: right now, there really is no such channel, so there are occasional young athletes like Fedor, Ronda, Lombard, crossing over and then you have the retired ones like Yoshida, etc. Not enough sample space.Re: strikers. I don't think any of the girls today are good enough athletes to deal with Ronda (except McMann who is old).

JJLong site profile image  

1/11/14 2:38 AM by JJLong

It'll be interesting to see what McMann can do in February.

Genghis84 site profile image  

1/11/14 1:41 AM by Genghis84

The best strikers at 135 are Holly Holm, Miriam Nakamoto, and Jessica Rakoczy. Jessica Eye also has pretty decent hands, speed, and footwork. Only problem is that I'm not sure any of them would stay on their feet for very long against Ronda. I certainly can't see them jabbing and jogging for a 5 round decision. I guess we'll see if Ronda and Eye both win in Feb.

Genghis84 site profile image  

1/11/14 1:30 AM by Genghis84

GSP showed signs before the Hendricks fight. Remember how bizarre he was acting leading up to his fight with Diaz? He looked seriously burnt out by everything. Especially by the media obligations. I believe was already done by that point, and looking for a way out. I think Fedor's passion and commitment were gone long before his physical skills diminished. His coach Voronov even admitted that he was just getting by on experience at the end. Which is insane when you think about it. It's truly a testament to his talent that he was able to gamble so long without it costing him.

judonoob site profile image  

1/10/14 11:49 PM by judonoob

Rousey fought Julia Budd in Strikeforce. Budd is a striker and quite a physical specimen at 145lbs. She fought and beat Carano in a muay thai match. Ronda did what she always does and dislocated her arm in 40 seconds. I think it's going to take more than striking.

Blazing Knees site profile image  

1/10/14 9:53 PM by Blazing Knees

I'll admit that I honestly don't know enough about the pool of talent in wmma to suggest who could pull it off, but all it would take is a moderately acccomplished natural striker ( which I don't think she has really faced yet) to make it happen.That's the only kind of gameplan that's going to work, if I'm to believe that she's got 'man strength" no one is going to be able to grapple with her, period. If and when she gets REALLY popped or rocked I think we will see what she's really made of mentally too. So far I haven't seen her in trouble and she's 'undefeated'  in mma with under 10 fights.  We'll see.

Wasa-B site profile image  

1/10/14 8:08 PM by Wasa-B

To be fair to GSP, for arguments sake, imo it was pretty admirable that even when he had clearly lost the focus and desire coming into the Hendricks fight, in his 3rd bout in a year after learning how to walk again against arguably his most dangerous opponent, he still gave it all he had so I wouldnt say he "checked out" (for a semantic battle there ha). Fedor was still going for the kill in the end but it was clear that he was going for it pretty sloppily now because he just didnt have the overall game and craft any longer at that point. Each of those 3 losses occurred because he was reckless.

Genghis84 site profile image  

1/10/14 4:13 PM by Genghis84

His motivation was always about supporting himself and his family. And also representing his country. Once he accomplished that in the sport (around 2004/05), you could tell he was just going through the motions. Like you said, GSP is very similar in how he checked out at the end. Although he's not a natural fighter like Fedor. He's more of an athlete who loves to compete. Jon Jones is the same way. I wouldn't be surprised if he also leaves the sport earlier than expected.

mark of the wolf site profile image  

1/10/14 3:19 PM by mark of the wolf

Gbutts, you said you "seen Ronda destroy some top female bjj bb in training" not to get off topic, but I'm curious as to who there names are? I'm. Old school if you are gonna "dry snitch" why not just go all out and tell us who? This is not questioning Ronda's skill, it speaks for itself but saying you seen first hand her destroying top female bjj bb can easily be traced as truth or false.I don't know many if any world class female bjj bb has spoke openly about training with Ronda if any has actually trained with her.