With news coming out of UFC stating that Ronda Rousey is out with a broken jaw following her comeback attempt in UFC 207, it is enough to make any serious student of the martial arts ask some serious questions. This fighter was absolutely dominating her weight division, until her devastating knockout by Holly Holm and then taking this beating from Amanda Nunes a few days ago.
What do we as martial artists take away from this? Ronda has been an amazing Judo player, went to the Olympics, dominated UFC for a good long while, even winning with her striking game like this time verses Sara McMann.
I think even in that fight though, the issues are there, Ronda simply has an issue with guarding her head. She does not slip, bob and weave in the manner of the boxer, she does not block hard with the ridge of her arm in the manner of Tae Kwon Do or Karate, she does not block and counter with the blow and ebb of Jeet Kune Do or Wing Chun, she does not destroy the limbs of her opponents like a Filipino Martial Arts practitioner "defanging the snake"would, She does not stay out of range entirely like a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might, until the time comes to grapple (this might be her best option, she has trained extensively with the Gracie's but her temperament seems to demand she answers punch for punch.) She does not dance away in the manner of the Capoeira player or float like a butterfly.
She just keeps her head on her centerline and gets hit in the face. Let this be a cautionary tale for us guys, even the best can progress still more.
We got options guys. Let's train them. Let's use them.
Until next time, guard your head!