After completely dominating the UFC bantamweight division in spectacular style during her still-young MMA career, already the “what next?” question is being asked of Ronda Rousey. But the 28-year-old sensation has been warned off trying her hand at boxing by two former champions, Layla McCarter and Amanda Serrano.
Rousey’s latest demolition job saw her dismantle Bethe Correia in a meagre 34 seconds. The manner of her victory—stood upright, delivering fierce punches—has prompted some to ask whether she could swap over to the sweet science for a sterner challenge. But McCarter has encouraged Rousey to stick with what she knows.
“I think she’s just brand-new at boxing,” said the former former lightweight and junior welterweight champion, per Ryan Songalia of the Guardian. “She’s very good at what she does, but she needs to stay in her lane because boxing takes a lot of experience to reach the top level. She better just stay in her lane because she’s going to get hurt.”
Those sentiments were backed up by Serrano, who said, as a technician, Rousey currently doesn’t have what it takes to trade the Octagon for the squared circle.
“Her movement is very bad, how she walks into punches and she would get caught,” said Serrano, per Songalia’s piece. “The girls that she’s fighting, they’ve got limited boxing skills. They rely on grappling on the floor. She fought that girl that didn’t know how to fight, and she ended up with a black eye.”
Here’s a reminder of the win, which has sparked this boxing debate, per BT Sport UFC:
In addition, Rousey’s boxing coach Edmond Tarverdyan said that her striking ability could definitely win her a boxing title, per Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com (via Songalia's piece).
For casual fans of either sport, a crossover might not seem that difficult. After all, both are based on combat, striking and agility. But there are various technical factors to consider when making a potential switch, and although Rousey is a master of the Octagon, replicating such dominance in the boxing ring would be a huge challenge.
But as we can see here, courtesy of BreatheSport, she is making light work of all her opponents:
Hopefully there are more challenges that await Rousey in the UFC. After all, the prospect of a superfight between Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Justino is a tantalising one, with the Brazilian insisting she’d be keen to go up against the undefeated American, per Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com.
But there are lingering doubts about what weight class that bout would be held at. MMA journalist Mike Chiappetta thinks the onus is on Cyborg, the naturally heavier woman, to drop down a division to make it happen:
Naturally, there’s plenty of hype around Rousey, with many expecting her to go on to scale new heights in whatever she tries her hand at. But Boxing and MMA are completely different sports; stances, footwork and game plans all differ.
At the moment, Rousey should just continue what she’s been doing. The manner of her displays have brought a sizeable new following to the UFC and, while her fights don’t typically last too long, people will continue to pay to see an icon at work. The American can only beat what’s put in front of her, after all; perhaps it’s time some others in the division stepped up to make things a contest.