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MMA showed it has a lot to learn from boxing, with Ronda Rousey come-back fight

By Matthias Predonzan: When I first heard about Ronda Rousey, it was when she was calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a fight. I genuinely believed she was a male fighter. Then I discovered she is an MMA female star and gradually, I became a bit familiar with the sport. I do not know much about MMA. Coming from boxing, I cannot understand the complexity of all the martial arts involved in this specialty and I do not like the way MMA fighters box.

Then, by chance, it happened to me to see the MMA fight between Ronda and the ex-boxer Holly Holm. That fight showed me one clear thing: the very limited experience of Ronda.

When she was countered, relatively hard, at the fight opening, she completely lost control: she dropped her, already low, guard and walked into Holm punches.

She was so shocked by what was going on to her, that she was almost incapable to breath when she was sitting during the first break and it was just a matter of time, at that point, for her to be knocked-out by her contender.

Fair enough. You cannot buy experience, you need to earn it. She was good enough to get victoriously through her first 12 fights, relaying on her aggressive style and superior judo experience when she was fighting on the canvas but clearly, she never faced before a very good boxer like Holly Holm is. Many months passed by and today, again by chance, I ended up looking at her come-back fight. When I knew that she was coming back against the champion that defeated Holly Holm, Amanda Nunes, I was astonished. I was telling to myself that never, in boxing, would have happened something like that. What about tune–up fights?

The outcome of the fight is history. Ronda was absolutely paralyzed by fear/tension. She was not doing anything. Not moving, not protecting herself, not clinching, just open to be hit. With all the respect for the champion, I think my auntie Rosina could have beaten Ronda tonight. How can her management have done this huge mistake?

She was the most important personality in MMA and they completely burned her out. I mean, beside her safety, her sport legacy, – we all know that nowadays these words do not mean too much -, Ronda Rousey was representing a large part of MMA sport, for what I can understand. And, with this, also huge economic, direct and indirect interests.

She had a long carrier in judo that is a much, much less violent sport than boxing or MMA, but only a few fights in the octagon. She was probably never knocked down in training, or cut.

She hadn’t lost, against Holm, by submission or on points, she was knocked-out cold. It was practically impossible she would have recovered from such a devastating experience without, slowly, rebuild her confidence.

Manny Pacquiao was also knocked-out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez (and we can see, even now, how that loss is affecting Manny’s fighting style) and he returned at a quite high level. But Pacquiao had already lost before and has a very large boxing experience and with all respect for MMA, he is Manny Pacquiao.

Going back to Ronda, even if she would have been the one to push for this kind of come back, against the opinion of her team, this is not changing the situation. Because this only means that she was not trusting and listening her trainer, ergo, she was very bad managed.

She will never bounce back from this terrible mistake. A mistake that, I believe, will be very costly also for MMA. Maybe MMA is a direct product of our consumerist society that has no respect for anything. Maybe it is only a too-green sport. What I know is that we have seen something very sad tonight, in the octagon, from all points of view.


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