Ronda Rousey: 203 seconds of action in six fights & Mazagatti controversy

Ronda Rousey: 203 seconds of action in six fights & Mazagatti controversy

During a prolific judo career that saw her win a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ronda Rousey racked up years of experience and hours of actual competition.

But in MMA, her cage time has included two pro fights totaling 74 seconds and three amateur bouts with another 104 seconds.

“I definitely would like a match to go longer to get some more cage experience,” she told Radio. “You can’t really recreate that in the gym. But I don’t have it in me to purposefully drag a match out longer. I have to try to end a match as quickly and efficiently as possible. I can’t let things not work.

“It’s nice if it goes the full distance. It’ll be nice to get that experience. But it’d also be nice not to get punched in the head.”

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Rousey did not see her wish fulfilled last night, as she once again won by arm bar, this time in just 25 seconds.

Unfortunately, Rousey’s performance isn’t what everyone will be talking about.

Instead, the story of the fight was that referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight even though Sarah D’Alelio didn’t tap out.

D’Alelio seemed poised and ready to fight off the arm bar, and she did not tap out. Surprisingly, Mazzagatti stepped in and stopped the fight anyway.

Afterward, Rousey and D’Alelio offered differing accounts of what happened: Rousey claimed that D’Alelio verbally submitted by saying, “tap, tap.” D’Alelio said she did no such thing.

UFC President Dana White has called Mazzagatti the worst referee in MMA. This incident will do nothing to change that.

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However, Strikeforce founder Scott Coker and Rousey herself defended Mazagatti’s actions.

D’Alelio admitted to grimacing in pain, and Rousey briefly released the hold. But Mazzagatti was a little slower to halt the fight, and the Las Vegas crowd booed when he did step in at an awkward moment – and without any clear visible sign that D’Alelio had given up.

“It definitely should have been a stoppage,” Rousey said. “The referee came up to us before the fight (and said) that if you say anything during a submission, then it’s a verbal submission. When I went into the armbar, I felt her arm pop a couple of times, and I thought she yelled, ‘Tap! Tap!’ I guess she said she yelled, ‘Ah!’ But either way, they said that anything you said during was a verbal submission.

“She was really cool and really respectful. I didn’t really feel a need to be particularly malicious, so I tried to tell the referee she was submitting. She was super cool right after, too. She said, ‘Don’t listen to the crowd.’

“It was a good fight. I feel like the only people that had a problem with it were the crowd.”

“In watching the replay, I think it was very clear that she was actually being very respectful to her opponent,” Coker said. “The next step would have been what? To lock down and really torque it out and maybe injured her?

“If you look at the referee stoppage, it was a verbal tap. What was the next outcome? The next outcome was Sarah would have had a serious injury.”

“We’re looking forward to getting Ronda back in the cage right away,” Coker said.

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So does this set up a potential showdown between Rousey and Strikeforce 135 pound title holder Cris Cyborg Santos? Rousey says no.

“I really don’t think it’d be physically possible for me to make 135 pounds on a regular basis and it be healthy,” Rousey said. “I had a lot of struggles with my weight when I was younger, and that was when I was fighting at 138. I haven’t weighed 135 since I was 15 years old, and I’m not in bad shape. I feel I’m ripped at 145, and anything less than that would be unhealthy.”

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Strikeforce Challengers 18
August 12, 2010
The Pearl at The Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada