Ronda Rousey's Next Fight: Keys to Victory for Her Opponent
The former Strikeforce champ and UFC champion added another arm to her mantle when she tapped out Liz Carmouche via armbar in the first round in the main event of UFC 157.
Carmouche didn't go down without a fight and was nearly able to pull off the upset. However, in the end, Rousey's game was too much for "The Girl-Rilla" to handle.
Now Rousey will wait for her future challenger to be revealed as a number of important WMMA bouts are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann and Alexis Davis could all find themselves standing across from Rousey in the Octagon if they can secure a victory.
They will need to proceed with these items in the back of their mind if they want to have a chance of defeating the seemingly unbeatable.
Do Not Be Intimidated
Ronda Rousey admitted that she wouldn't have the mental advantage coming into this fight. After all, how are you supposed to intimidate a former Marine like Liz Carmouche?
Rousey's future opponents will need to not let the champion intimidate them before the fight or during it.
Rousey has no qualms about speaking her mind and she's a very opinionated person. We saw how the trash talk affected Miesha Tate's game in their contest. Future challengers will have to keep Rousey out of their heads while staying in their comfort zone.
As Carmouche showed, Rousey is vulnerable like any other fighter. Any fighter going up against Rousey should know that they can't afford to wait for Rousey to come to them but instead should go on the offensive. With that being said, being overaggressive isn't the answer, because Rousey is an expert at using leverage to her advantage from her judo background.
Treating a fight with Rousey like any other fight is a must to allow future challengers to stick to their game plans and not allow the champion to play mind games with them in the weeks prior to the bout.
It's clear that opponents have the best chance of defeating Ronda Rousey by keeping the fight standing. Rousey's ground game is far too dangerous to be tested by anyone who doesn't have similar credentials and her striking game is a mystery.
What will help future title challengers the most is good footwork. Not just in the sense of working angles and avoiding Rousey's strikes, but also to avoid Rousey's takedowns.
Every Rousey bout plays out much like the previous one in that Rousey looks to clinch and use her judo game, usually by pressing an opponent up against the cage. By being light on their feet, future opponents will be able to circle out and pop some shots in on Rousey as she looks to grab.
Of course, it's easier said than done. Rousey has an Olympic level judo game. However, by using good footwork, future title challengers won't have to be put in that predicament.
Memo to fighters: Stop worrying about how to defend the armbar.
Ronda Rousey has done that sequence probably a million times over the course of her life. Unless your jiu-jitsu skills rank up with Roger Gracie, you're not going to stop her.
Instead of focusing on the end result, why not focus on preventing the fight from ever getting there? Improving one's takedown defense has to be the top priority in any woman's camp prior to facing Rousey.
By avoiding where Rousey's greatest strength lies, fighters will be able to force Rousey to use a different method besides "takedown to armbar" to win a fight.
Forcing Rousey to stand will prove whether she is just a one-trick pony or a genuine mixed martial artist.