How to stop Ronda Rousey

Thursday, January 09, 2014

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.