Bobbing from side to side, quick footwork that would help one keep moving, pursuing an attack plan of taking one’s opponent to the ground: all of these things are certainly areas that Ronda Rousey needs to work on in order to really come back from her two-fight losing streak.
All of these things would be helpful, but none of them matter if she cannot get her mental game up to speed.
Of course, that is something that Rousey herself has to address and decide if she even wants to come back to the UFC or if she wants to move onto the next phase of her life where she makes movies, commercials, etc. Normally when one loses a fight or two, they evaluate who their training camp is comprised of and make the necessary changes to try and avoid similar outcomes. Edmond Tarverdyan would be the first to go if Rousey made her decisions based off of her fight night results and not loyalty to those who were there before the losses started to happen. That’s one of her biggest mistakes.
What is the problem?
There isn’t much footage out there for how Rousey trained for the fight against Nunes, but it did appear from the 48 seconds we all saw that Tarverdyan did little to nothing to change what first went wrong in the Holm fight. If he did then Rousey has an even bigger problem now than she did when she first lost, which is an unwillingness to change her fight strategy and learn new methods to add to her repertoire. That seems really unlikely, as she has devoted a big chunk of her training to striking the past three fights or so. So again, that leads us back to Tarverdyan being the problem.
One could argue that the other members of her training camp should also hold the blame as well. That to an extent could be true but even from a casual fan’s standpoint, finding striking or Judo or Jiu-Jitsu specialists to come in and spar with wouldn’t be that hard to find. Plus, if specialists other than striking had been brought in, it seems like that might’ve been more prevalent in Rousey’s game plan for UFC 207.
What needs to change?
However, this all again comes back to the state of mind Rousey had between losing to Holm and fighting Nunes. Accepting defeat is never easy, but recognizing that mistakes were made and improvements clearly need to happen shouldn’t be nearly as difficult. No one performs perfectly, not just in mixed martial arts but in any sport. Muhammad Ali lost fights, as did Oscar De La Hoya, Chuck Liddell, and countless others.
A champion isn’t necessarily defined by the titles they’ve won, but their work on the road to the title; or, how they bounced back from a loss and earned back the title. If Rousey isn’t mentally prepared and trained to work her way back to the top (either by winning fights to get back into a title bout or somehow earning a second title bout after her most recent loss) than retirement may be her best bet.
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