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Ronda Rousey’s Striking Against Correia *Updated with GIFs*

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Ronda Rousey is amazing. I am particularly enamored with her mental game: her confidence to dominate, humility to learn, toughness, work ethic, high fight IQ, game-planning, and ability to intimidate. But I am also interested in Rousey’s striking, which is a fascinating work in progress.

Rousey’s victory over Bethe Correia was her first real display of striking. Sure, she KO’d Sara McMann, but that was a knee from the clinch against a wrestler. Against Correia, Rousey used punches on the feet to KO a striker.

So what did we learn from Rousey’s brief but decisive striking display?

If we take social media seriously, Rousey’s is either an elite striker on-par with Mike Tyson, or an amateur hack made to look good by third-rate opponents. The truth is somewhere in the middle. So I watched the 34-second fight slowed down by 800% to provide the overly detailed analysis you’ve been waiting for.

THE FIRST THREE EXCHANGES
– What Happened –
The first three exchanges of the fight happened fast and were virtually identical. For all three, Rousey initiated the action with a weak jab followed by a hard overhand right that missed badly. Correia easily slid to the left to avoid the overhand right in the first two exchanges, and in the third Correia slid backward to avoid the right.

Three Opening 1-2s

Rousey’s overhand rights were easily avoided

Also of note, after the first exchange the fighters nearly clinched, and as they separated Rousey landed a straight right that snapped Correia’s head back.

OffBalanceRight_smaller (2)

Power despite imperfect balance

– What We Learned –
Rousey was open to the counter-attack after the first two overhands swung and missed; in both cases Correia achieved a dominant angle by sliding to the left as Ronda’s momentum carried her forward. Although Correia did not take advantage, Rousey’s looping overhand right would make her vulnerable to counters from a better striker (ahem, Holly Holm?). These first exchanges also provided the first evidence of Rousey’s power; her right cross was thrown while she was off balance, yet jolted Correia’s head back.

THE FOURTH EXCHANGE (4:50 Remaining in Round 1)
– What Happened –
Rousey changed it up. Perhaps suspecting that Correia sensed a pattern, Rousey led with the same weak jab, but instead of the overhand right she followed with a second jab, thrown stiffly and with power, that found its mark and knocked Correia back.

DoubleJab

I showed three 1-2s, well here’s a 1-1!

– What We Learned –
Rousey has tremendous fight intelligence. She senses quickly what her opponents are seeing and doing. She knew Correia had seen the same 1-2 combination three times, began the combination the same way, but then changed it up to catch Correia off guard. I love Ronda’s brain.

THE FIFTH EXCHANGE (4:48 Remaining in Round)
– What Happened –
Correia backed away and to her left after eating the aforementioned jab, Rousey squared up and launched another looping overhand right, and Correia threw her own hard right. Rousey’s missed again, and Correia’s was negated because Rousey stepped forward inside its power looking for the clinch or throw.

AlmostHitWithHook

Rousey missing and almost eating a hook

The fighters clinched, Rousey walked Correia backward and landed an uppercut or two and then a left knee to the midsection. Correia did land a left hook while back pedaling but Rousey didn’t seem to notice. Rousey then went for a throw but Correia kept her hips back and defended. Still in the clinch, Rousey landed a good uppercut to Correia’s head, and Correia answered with a stiff straight left that found its mark. During the clinch exchange both fighters also threw several punches (uppercuts from Ronda, hooks or crosses from Correia) that missed. Because our focus is Ronda’s striking, there is no GIF of the clinchwork.

– What We Learned –
Rousey seemed a bit lucky to avoid Correia’s right hook. The hook actually did land, but Rousey had started to step forward to clinch and in doing so not only stepped inside the hook’s power, but caused Correia, who was worried about the clinch, to pull the punch. Rousey’s head was unprotected, a sign of her immature striking defense. However, once inside the clinch it became Rousey’s world. Despite eating a punch or two, Rousey seized the initiative and roughed up Correia.

THE SIXTH EXCHANGE (4:36 Remaining in Round 1)
– What Happened –
At the end of the previous exchange, Rousey tripped Correia, who stumbled to the ground and somersaulted backward. Rousey absolutely pounced. By the time Correia was on her feet she had her back to the cage and Rousey was on the attack. Rousey threw two off-balance punches with poor form that missed, and then a straight right that landed flush in Correia’s face.

TripPounceMissesHit

Trip, pounce, two misses then a right lands

Rousey threw five more punches that missed or glanced, and then a left hook to the jaw that rocked Correia.

MissesThanHit

Sloppier punches miss before a good left hook connects

After two more missed Rousey punches a desperate Correia, rocked and still backed against the cage, ate a hard left knee from Rousey. Correia tried to slide to her right away from trouble, Rousey followed with two lefts that missed their mark, then coiled, and fired a beautiful right to end the fight.

FinalPunch

The final punch: Good stance, good balance

– What We Learned –

Rousey is still green as a striker, so in the heat of the moment her form breaks, and many or even most of her punches lack technique and balance. But she maintains an unrelenting pace, and *some* of her punches are on balance, on target, and very powerful.

SO… HOW GOOD IS ROUSEY’S STRIKING?
Rousey’s striking is a mix of strengths and weaknesses.

Her weaknesses include: 1) a looping overhand right that is easily avoided and that leaves her open to counter-attacks, 2) a lack of kicks, 3) poor punching accuracy, 4) poor head movement, and 5) inconsistent form and technique.

Her strengths include: 1) power, 2) overwhelming pace and aggression, 3) high fight IQ that translates to her striking game, and 4) smooth transitions from striking to the clinch where she is dominant.

Rousey’s striking is raw. However, she is a world-class athlete with a world-class work ethic who is rapidly improving. Her coaches will critique her striking, and while some call her arrogant, Rousey will be the first to listen and learn. Rousey is a model student, and it will be fascinating to see how her striking has improved the next time she fights.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: 
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: 
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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