The Knockout loss of Rhonda Rousey to Holly Holm should not be a surprise. That’s especially true of anyone with experience and knowledge of the sport. It’s certainly not James Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson in Japan. This was an “upset” in the making, as Rousey is not that great a fighter. She’s a serious Judo competitor but not a great kickboxer. Her kumite skills are seriously lacking.
Why do I make this statement and why wasn’t I surprised by Rousey’s loss last night? It’s because she’s never faced any real competition. There is no one for her to fight. The UFC created her to a certain extent to drive the marketing campaign for female cage fighting. There’s an unending line of men who would like to take out their aggression in a cage despite the fact that most of them have very little talent. But the pool of women good enough and willing to step in to a cage to beat someone up or to be beaten up, is far more limited.
Rousey is a great Judo player. Judo is a sport that requires serious skills and years of practice to become proficient. And for some, it takes a lifetime or never to perfect those skills. Cage fighting is very different. What Rousey has going for her is her aggression, perhaps her anger but she punches poorly, and her kicks are not much better. To Holm’s credit, she is a far better puncher and kicker as the knockout of Rousey demonstrates. Very rarely are fighters knocked out by kicks. But Holm got away with one of the mortal sins of throwing a roundhouse kick, she completely dropped her left hand (see photo below) to her side and was highly susceptible to a right hand over the top or to a throw like Kouchi Gari. Of course that would have meant blocking the kick with her arms as opposed to her face. An important note to make is that all of Rousey’s wins have started with a judo throw, usually Ogoshi or Kubi Nage Makikomi and end with Juji Gatame. She is a terrific Judo Player but her Kumite skills are seriously lacking. So anyone who is shocked by her loss simply doesn’t understand the sport.
There will undoubtedly be a rematch since there are few other fights out there that would be as intriguing, In fact I will go as far as to say, with Rousey no longer invincible and when she eventually retires, female MMA may simply fade away due to lack of interest, support and talent.