Ronda Rousey’s Focus on Stand Up a Smokescreen?
“I’m not going to give out what she’s going to do, but I’ll be honest: We get boxing world champions in here – girls – and she drops all of them with body shots,” – Edmond Tarverdyan
MMA coaches are no different from the professional coaches found in football, baseball, basketball or hockey – they love to say things to get people’s attention, in order to distract or throw off an opponent. That’s exactly what Ronda Rousey’s head trainer Edmond Tarverdyan is doing by telling the world that the women’s bantamweight champion is knocking out some of the best boxers in her training.
There’s no doubt that Rousey and Tarverdyan are working on her stand up skills. Her improvement in that area was very noticeable in her title defence against Miesha Tate. Going into her UFC 170 title defence against Olympic wrestling medallist Sara McMann, Rousey, may, for the first time in her career not have the advantage on the ground. Is the game plan from the Rousey camp to keep things standing up – where she will presumably have a slight edge?
It’s more likely that this is a smokescreen from her camp. When it comes to being successful in MMA, fighters usually stick with what has worked for them in the past. Georges St. Pierre stuck to his wrestling base, Anderson Silva to his stand up. Even going back a while, no matter the opponent, Chuck Liddell always wanted to keep things on his feet, where he felt he had the advantage.
Rousey is a dominant ground/submission fighter. Her arm bar is becoming the most recognizable finish in the sport, and the undefeated champion has never ended a fight with anything but the maneuver. Are we to suddenly believe her game plan will change because of the wrestling ability of McMann?Perhaps. But it is more likely that the focus on stand up is there as a possible transition to the ground game.
What do you think? Is this just coach hyperbole or a real strategy for Rousey?
Credit to MMA Junkie for the quote.