Sunday, November 15, 2015

(Sports) UFC 193: Why Ronda Rousey Lost To Holly Holm

It was no secret before the fight that Holly Holm was easily the most technically gifted and accomplished striker that former UFC champion Ronda Rousey has ever faced and would possibly prove to be her toughest opponent yet but nobody ( maybe except  her coaches) was expecting Rousey to be severely outclassed in the first round and get put to sleep with a brutal head kick in the second. 

It was clear from the outset of the fight that it was going to be a long night for Rousey as she was chasing Holly Holm but failing to catch her as Holm was pretty much in control of the distance of the fight for as long as it lasted. Rousey had a few moments of control when she managed to close the distance from a missed counter and got Holm into a clinch and later on when she attempted arm bar but that short of that Holly Holm was busy showing the holes in Rousey striking ability.

And that's what was really shocking, not that Holly Holm was a better striker than Rousey but just how much better she was than Rousey. When facing someone as good as Holm at distance management, creating angles and landing counters, the last you want to do is get desperate and chase them as you’ll eat counters, hit air all night and possibility get knocked out which was basically happened last night.

A good deal of fighters in both boxing and MMA struggle at cutting off the ring but Rousey was particularly bad at it last night as there were several instances where she was following Holly Holm into a series of stiff straight rights and lefts which bloodied her nose. The amount of energy Rousey wasted for most of first round chasing Holm took its toll and as soon this happened the fight was lost as Rousey’s only chance from of winning the fight from that point on was Holm tiring, getting sloppy or complacent.

Rousay has eaten stiff punches before coming in but she basically harassed and closed the distance on fighters who were nowhere near as skilled as Holm is at circling or evading attacks particularly clinches and shots for take downs. To even get close to someone like Holm requires someone who can match her for creating angles and movement but Rousey wasn’t even close on both fronts.

It’s quite ironic that an MMA bout at the highest level turned out to a be a boxing clinic in using footwork and movement to keep an opponent out of position and punish them for their mistakes as Rousey most almost always out of position to throw a punch and paid for virtually every one she threw.

Rousey is almost definitely going to have get her chance to win her belt back but it’s hard to see how she’ll regain her crown given the night and day skill deferential between her and holm that’s damn near impossible to close in three to six months.

In sum, a near capacity Etihad stadium crowd was treated to technical clinic as the queen of MMA was deposed by, quite simply, the better fighter on the night.

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