Ronda Rousey Reveals Her Original Game Plan Against Holly Holm

“Out on my feet from the first punch”

In 2015, Ronda Rousey was at the pinnacle of her career, being one of the biggest stars in UFC alongside Conor McGregor. She had made a name for herself in both MMA and entertainment, featuring in films and TV shows. Her dominance in the octagon was so significant that UFC President Dana White and commentator Joe Rogan claimed she could defeat undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather if he ever ventured into MMA. However, this aura of invincibility shattered dramatically when Holly Holm knocked her out with a head kick at UFC 193.

The Preparation and Strategy

Before the fight against Holm, Rousey had a clear strategy. She aimed to keep Holm off the centerline and press her against the cage, leveraging her judo background to secure takedowns. However, things didn’t go as planned. As Rousey explained during a Q&A session promoting her autobiography “Our Fight,” she was immediately disoriented by Holm’s first punch.

“I was out on my feet from the very beginning,” Rousey said. This initial blow caused her to lose her ability to see distances properly, making it impossible to implement her strategy.

“My process was usually, I would plan out the first exchange, and everything from then on out would be an improvisation, within the range of what I trained for specifically for that person,” Rousey explained. However, she couldn’t follow through with this approach against Holm due to the immediate concussion she suffered. “There’s no depth perception when you have a bad concussion,” she added, emphasizing how the fight became a blur.


Impact of the Loss and Reflections

Rousey’s defeat by Holm was not just a physical blow but also a significant mental setback. She faced a storm of criticism and scrutiny over her performance and training methods. Reflecting on her coaches’ influence, Rousey mentioned that she often did not rely on their advice during fights.

“I don’t hear anything my corner’s saying,” she noted. Instead, her strategy was self-reliant, shaped by her experiences of competing in judo tournaments without a coach.

Despite the harsh criticism, Rousey continued to be a significant figure in MMA and beyond, even though she struggled to come to terms with the loss for a long time. Her subsequent break from the sport was a period of reflection and recovery, as she revealed in various interviews.

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