Ronda Rousey has opened up about what she things is her biggest asset in the Octagon.
You might think it’s her arm-bar – a submission no one has yet escaped from. You might think it’s her judo skills – a facet no other fighter in the UFC has or can match. Or you might think it is her being trained by her Olympic judo Mum virtually from the time she could walk.
But you’d be wrong.
Rousey puts her dominance, of the women’s bantamweight division, down to her fast and aggressive starts.
“When I did judo as a kid,” she said to Mike and Mike in the Morning, “ my mom told me the most common time to catch somebody is the first second of the match. So when I was a little kid from like 11 on, I would always try a throw right after the bell, so I had a lot of matches that were in the first 10 or 20 seconds, because that’s when the person is most unprepared.
Rousey’s record speaks for itself.
Most of her fights last less time than it takes to retrieve a beer from the fridge.
While most fighters take at least 30 seconds to settle into a fight – a thing Rousey has capitalised on.
“It’s just been drilled into my brain,” she contineuerd, “since I was a little kid to not have that feeling-out period. To be good at what other people are bad at.”
And it’s not like her opponents aren’t prepared for these fast starts. The problem comes when they have to construct a defence to it. Remember, most fighters only settle into the bout after 30 seconds, so they have to change their normal style of fighting to accommodate Rousey’s style.
And that places them at an immediate disadvantage.
The second problem occurs when they try to come up with a plan. Because Rousey’s fights finish fast there’s not a whole lot of video footage for coaches to work with; and therefore not a whole lot they can use with which to come up with a counter-strategy.
And this is why Holly Holm could prove a good rival for Rousey.
Hom has an unparalleled boxing pedigree. Boxing relies on creating and keeping distance from an opponent until you are ready to strike. These skills may make the difference in getting through that crucial first minute against Rousey.
Should Holm manage to do so she may then stage the fight on her terms (not Rousey’s). What happens then is anyone’s guess.