Ronda Rousey is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, one of the most polarizing figures the combat sports world has ever seen. Irrespective of whether you love or hate her, the fact remains that "The Rowdy One" has indeed left an indelible mark not only on the fight game but in all of sports and entertainment as a whole.
Rousey is an Olympic bronze medalist in the sport of Judo, and a former Strikeforce and UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. She presently performs for the WWE, and has been receiving largely positive reviews for her work in professional wrestling.
However, what truly stands out with regard to Rousey, is her excellent fighting skills. She is one of a kind, and her combat style proved as much. The "Rowdy" former UFC Champion is well-known for her bull-rushing style of fighting, wherein she'd refrain from giving her opponent any time to think or get into a rhythm.
Following which, she'd clinch, get the fight to the mat, and from there onward, it'd be all Ronda Rousey! Her armbars are truly legendary, and despite having started off as a grappler, Rousey eventually began showing off marvelous one-punch KO power.
Today, we examine the top 5 Ronda Rousey MMA techniques...
#5 Overhand right
Like most grapplers who transition to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, Ronda Rousey initially developed a great overhand right, where she'd fake going for a takedown or feign a clinch attempt, only to crack her opponent with a thunderous overhand right.
Rousey's KO wins against Alexis Davis and Bethe Correia, are proof of the monstrous KO power the former possesses in her right hand. Rousey usually sets up her overhand right, by first throwing out an open-handed jab to measure the distance.
Once she gets her opponent's distance and timing down, Rousey then steps into range and fires off her powerful right hand.
#4 A slow, but powerful, left hook
Alright, I'd like to hark back to Ronda Rousey's fight against Holly Holm at UFC 193 here. Although Holm's shocking KO win over Rousey was the talk of the town after the fight, several experts noted that Rousey did catch the former professional boxing world champion with a beautiful left hook while getting out of a clinch exchange.
To be honest, what really went wrong for Rousey at UFC 193, is that her footwork wasn't even close to that of Holm's. In fact, it's quite possible that Rousey's KO power is greater than that of Holm – However, you can't knock out what you can't touch!
Rousey simply failed to touch Holm with any meaningful strike in their fight, and on the odd occasion that she did (like the left hook mentioned above), she rocked back Holm's head. Rousey's left hook has always been slow, but its power is unquestionable nonetheless...
At UFC 170, against fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann, Ronda Rousey thoroughly impressed one and all with her striking skills. Rousey absolutely trounced McMann via TKO – who, by the way, was a very dangerous fighter at the time.
Rousey stalked McMann, and attaining the clinch position against fence, Rousey connected with a beautiful knee that obliterated her foe. The knee seemed to have connected right to McMann's liver, and resultantly, the latter winced in pain and was knocked down immediately.
An important point I'd like to note over here, is that Rousey's knees have always been one of her more underrated techniques. The Rowdy One simply has excellent knee strikes!
Moreover, she has a great tendency of angling off before looking for the knee strikes. What Rousey does really well, is create openings for the clinch with her punches, enter the clinch, and then fire off brutal knees to the sides of her opponent's body.
I may very well be called "Captain Obvious" here, but bear with me. Ronda Rousey has one of the greatest armbar techniques in all of combat sports history. Now, although Rousey's armbars are often credited to her being trained since childhood by her mother AnnMaria De Mars, the fact remains that Rousey's "Fight IQ" plays a huge role in the success of her armbars.
In simple terms, Rousey knows exactly how to adapt her armbar according to the direction in which her opponent moves, as well as the leverage that she has over her foe in a given grappling exchange. For instance, in her armbar submission wins over Liz Carmouche and Miesha Tate, she used a relatively traditional armbar technique.
Nevertheless, at UFC 184, her opponent Cat Zingano literally flew into Rousey – throwing a flying knee straight out the gate! Well, Rousey adjusted, and turned the striking exchange into a grappling battle, by tapping out Zingano via a straight armbar.
Rousey's innovation with the armbar is what made her so very successful with the move.
#1 Gives up top position to continue grappling exchanges
This may very well be one of the most important reasons why Ronda Rousey had such a tremendous amount of success in the grappling department of MMA over the course of her career. Here's the thing: Rousey doesn't really worry too much about losing top position in a grappling exchange.
In fact, Rousey was quite comfortable in the bottom position even against the very best of Women's MMA grapplers such as Miesha Tate. The Rowdy One would often trick her foes into a false sense of security, by giving up top position and dragging them deeper into her game – the world of grappling.
From there onward, Rousey would slowly, but steadily go for one arm, and then suddenly switch towards the other arm – resultantly confusing the opponent as to which arm she plans on attacking. In the end, Rousey would gradually sweep her opponent, or secure the armbar from bottom position, for the submission victory.
Which Ronda Rousey techniques do you like the most? Sound off in the comments!