Congratulations! For one reason or another, you have managed to get yourself into a fight with the baddest woman on the planet, Ronda Rousey! Now there are three ways this can end: you can have your arm broken through one of her patented arm bar submission techniques, have your face punched in by her lightning fast hands, or you can win the fight...
That's right. There is a way to defeat the undefeated, #4 ranked pound for pound fighter in the world. Like any great fighter in any generation, all fighters have their weaknesses, whether it be Floyd Mayweather's inability to trade punches on the inside or Muhammad Ali's weak chin, there is a way to defeat even the greatest of fighters in every generation. What makes the greatest fighters in the world earn these titles is that they accentuate their strengths to completely overshadow their weaknesses, making them seemingly invincible. Rousey has definitely accomplished that and has made the whole world believe that not a single person, man or woman, can touch her in the fighting realm. But she is definitely not without her weaknesses. And it shows within her fighting style, in her stance, and attitude as she goes in every fight. I will cover the ways to beat Rousey and I'm not talking about beating her in a points based fight (I'm looking at you, Mayweather). I'm talking about beating her by way of knockout.
That being said, these following tips are just those: tips. This is an analysis of Rousey's fights thus far and only the most seasoned of fighters with an abundance of both skill and experience will be able to use all of these tips to their fullest and win the fight. There is a difference between walking in to fight with the knowledge to win and the actual ability to be able to execute the tips to win.
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In any fight, you must control the pace. As in, how fast the fight is moving, whether it be slow or fast, whatever your preference may be. Rousey has a very fast and unrelenting style. She charges in, guns blazing, and overwhelms her opponents with a barrage of both speed and technique. If you're going to have any chance of beating her, you must slow her pace down to a more workable pace for yourself. Patience in a fight against a fighter like Rousey is a very important factor in your survival. Trying to go blow for blow with her ends one of two ways: knock out by strikes or hip toss to the ground where your life would get exceedingly worse by the second.
One of the most important things in the fight may be one of the most overlooked things by casual observers and seasoned fighters alike: your fighting stance. The stance can determine whether or not you end up with your back on the ground and Rousey working you over with her judo and jujitsu or if you're in an advantageous position to fight back. In a fight against Rousey, your stance must NEVER be narrow. When I say narrow, imagine how your feet would be if you were standing on a skateboard. That is the type of stance you must avoid at all costs when fighting Rousey. The second your stance is like that, she will perform a takedown on you so quickly, the last thing you'll see is her legs across your neck and chest with her about to break your arm. To counter this, you must keep your chest square towards her, your feet outside shoulder width apart, with a slight stagger. When Rousey tries the takedown on this stance, you have a better chance of sprawling out your legs and essentially laying your body on top of her, opening her up for punches to the body or knees to the head. Chances are that she will not try the takedown if you are in this stance for fear of that counter.
8 Rousey's Stance
In her last fight with Bethe Correia, Rousey's own stance was more of a boxing style. Her back foot was perpendicular to her front foot, but her front foot was so far ahead, it gave her a really wide stance. Meaning, her stance was narrow. Now usually, one would want to use a takedown against a stance like this, but Rousey's groundwork is so good that trying to duel her on the ground is one of the worst ideas you can have. So what do you do? When a person's stance is narrow and you can't take her down, you kick that leg. You drive your shin bone into their thigh as hard as you can and as often as you can. It'll hinder her ability to fight (and walk) and it'll keep the distance between you and Rousey right where you're most comfortable: away from her.
7 Counter Punch
One of Rousey's favorite styles of fighting is to fight fast and hard. She will charge at you in a straight line, throwing lefts and rights to set up more devastating punches or to lock you into a hold where she will grab you by the base of your neck (this is called a clinch) and throw knees at your body like she's trying to tenderize a steak or hip toss you to the ground like a rag doll. The only way to keep this from happening: you must circle around her punches. What I mean by circling is that when she throws a punch, you must not move backwards, but to either side of her (while having your hands up for blocking) and start moving around her in a circle shape. What this does is that it makes Rousey's ability to land clean shots and grab you that much harder. A slip to the left or right will make the hardest of punches slide harmlessly away from you and grabbing a moving target is that much more difficult. This is also one of the most opportune times you will have to fight back against Rousey. Once you slip off to the side, you will have a small window of opportunity to do some major damage. Two clean shots at most and you get out of there. In fights against opponents this good, you must take your time and pick your opportunities. Counter punching (or kicking) Rousey at this exact moment is the safest and most effective way of taking down the champ.
One of the worst places you can be when fighting Rousey is up close and personal. Her grappling and groundwork skill are off the charts and if you try your luck too long against her up close, she will eventually find herself an opening where she can toss you to the ground and go to work. The best way to attack someone who is so good at getting up close and turning people into mush is to use a series of jabs, straights, and push kicks. A strong series of jabs will keep any charging person stopped in their tracks and adding in a quick straight (your back hand that would be your dominant hand) will show her that she needs to be wary of a possible knock out punch. Push kicks, such as a front push kick (think Spartan kick from 300) and a side kick will serve two purposes against her: you will be the one who controls the distance during the fight and it's a devastating attack that will bury your foot in her abdomen, knocking the wind out of her. All of these attacks will keep her from charging in like a bull and thus provide you more time to find your own opening against her.
In a fight against a charging attacker, you must know where you are at all times. The second you find yourself trapped up against a wall, ropes, cage wall, etc., your chances of surviving are significantly lessened. It isn't a death sentence, but you must be able to react quickly if you find yourself up against a wall. As earlier mentioned, you need to be able to circle around against a charging opponent to be able to stand a chance against them, but circling is impossible if your surroundings keep your mobility at a premium. It's something that doomed Bethe Correia in her fight against Rousey, because when she rolled backwards, she did not immediately move off to the side and Rousey was able to pin her up against the cage and go to work.
4 Clinch Fighting
Even the most laid out and thoughtful plans may fail because of one tiny slip up or another. So being able to defend against worst case scenarios is important, especially against one of the best in Rousey. So she fights in her straight line and has successfully caught you in the clinch. The worst thing you can do when you're in the clinch is do what most people would do: bend over and try to slip away from someone who has you by the neck. Why? That's gift wrapping your face and head to meet Rousey's much harder and much faster moving knee.
3 Block the Knee Strikes
There are multiple ways to break out of the clinch, but it requires a fast reaction from the person getting clinched to put themselves in the right position to do so. More often than not, the person who gets clinched is going to end up the way the clincher wants them to. So you have an onslaught of knees being forced into your body, what do you do? To counter the knees being thrown at you by Rousey, you must get your hands up and then elbow her on the top of knees as she's throwing them. If you elbow the top of her knees, that will hurt her significantly, but you must not linger there too long. Even if her knees are hurting from the elbow strikes, she can still hip toss so as soon as she relaxes, you must break free or fight back.
2 Escaping the Clinch
Escaping the clinch either by fast reaction or after you've stunned her by elbowing her knees is essential to make sure you keep the distance between you and Rousey. Rousey is one of the best grapplers on this blue marble, so separating yourself away from her is paramount to the success of this fight. So how do you escape out of a Rousey clinch? Rousey tucks her elbows in tight and iron claws her hands around the base of the neck, which leaves one part of her body open for you to use against her. If you take your shoulder (doesn't matter which), dig it straight into her elbow and turn your body that direction, you will force her to make her let go. If she doesn't let go, this breaks her arm and forces her to let go anyway. After that, an opportunity is left wide open for you to punch and kick to your heart's content. You must do the shoulder turn quickly or else Rousey can twist, turn, and pull you while still in the clinch and get you off balance and be unable to counter her.
If there was a golden rule in your fight against the baddest woman on the planet, it would be this: BY ALL MEANS, IF YOU DO NOT PREVENT ROUSEY FROM TAKING YOU TO THE GROUND, YOU ARE DONE. Your groundwork will never be as good as Rousey since this is what she has been doing forever and thus knows every guard, how to break it, and turn it into some insane version of an arm bar. IF you can execute the preceding tips, you will hopefully keep yourself from your back ever hitting the ground against her and letting her work her beautiful disaster on you.
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