Sunday, March 4, 2012

The New Bantamweight Champion of the World

After screaming non-stop at the top of my lungs for five minutes on Saturday night, rolling into bed at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, making a flight at noon to get to Boston this evening - I feel like something that cat left on the rug, and probably look worse.

In case you did not know, Ronda won the 135 lb world title on Saturday night. In case you are like my Aunt Sis who always asks,
 “What is it that your daughter does again? Karate? No, that’s Samantha. Tae kwon do?”

... she was competing in Strikeforce which holds competitions for women in mixed martial arts. Oh yeah, there were some men there, too.

I had been saving a couple of posts for this blog on how to really escape an arm bar. I was going to post those after the fight, but on second thought, I’ll just wait and see if anyone figures it out on their own. No sense in helping the competition, especially since quite a few more of those arm bars may be in Ronda’s future.

Was anything settled by this fight? 

Well, Ronda got paid. That’s always good. 

People who were complaining for months that she had no prayer against “an experienced mixed martial artist” and was only given the title fight because she was pretty and had a twitter account got to shut the hell up for five minutes. That’s good. Of course, after the five minutes were up, the same people who were commenting she couldn't win this world title were saying well, yeah, but she couldn't beat some other person.

It's like Steve Seck told me years ago, even if you won the Olympics, those same people would be saying,

"Yeah, you won an Olympic gold medal, but could you do it again?"

The whole “judo beats wrestling” or “wrestling beats judo” argument was not settled, contrary to what some people might think. All this match means is that one person who was a very, very good judo player beat one person with a wrestling background. 

It was determined that the cousins all look a lot alike. We have photographic evidence. (It was really nice that so much of the family came out to support Ronda. Here we all are at around 4 a.m. That belt is heavy ! )  Too bad none of the sisters could come out, but Maria had that whole "I have birth" excuse.

It's probably the getting to bed at 5 a.m. that made me remiss. I haven't taken any pictures of my granddaughters yet and I have been here 8 hours. Here is one Maria sent me when Emilia was a few days old. Well, she's still a few days old, that was last week.

I'm glad Ronda won. If she wants to keep it up, I think she will have a long run as world title holder.  I'm sure she'll be very happy for the next week or two.  For some reason, though, I'm reminded of my little Julia, when she won the junior national judo championships. My mom asked her how did she feel. Julia shrugged and said, 

"It's great the day you win. And then it's tomorrow."

That may sound depressing but it's not. Tomorrow, I'm going to do work I really enjoy and spend the time I'm not working with my beautiful grandchildren. As for Ronda, she's on her way to New York. Supposedly, it is to visit her friend and do some publicity stuff, but after all those months of dieting, I suspect she is secretly making a pilgrimage to the original home of Buffalo wings.


Anonymous said...

ThanK you from parents everywhere for raising a role model for our children.

Jeremy said...

Unresolved issues are only good for business.

Shame about no armbar posts. Everyone's been throwing in their opinions on what she should've done (by everyone I mean whitebelts. Which is still better than my youtube level understanding of armbars).

Also I thought you may be interested in seeing the Gracie brothers breakdown Ronda's finish. (Here:


aglee said...

I'm convinced we'll all be getting the "karate" question until the day we die.

As for escaping armbars... I saw a GIF of the last few seconds and was puzzled as to what Tate was doing, which seemed to be making things much worse for herself.

aglee said...

I just saw Jeremy's comment -- great video! And a great idea for an instructional video series.

BJJ Judo said...

I am really glad the ref didnt stop the fight early. Imagine the controversy if the ref saved Miesha's arm?

robthornton72 said...

The fun thing for me now is reading all the comments about how Ronda's a one-trick pony and she'll get beaten to a pulp next time. Just like the last time, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Ronda won the fight because of her ability to secure a powerful armbar, coupled with good grappling skills.

However, Ronda's striking is pitiful! Especially her ground and pound technique(s). Ronda punches like a girl. Miesha Tate is only an average striker - Ronda should have won the MMA fight. If a good striker, like Sarah can defend against being taking down and the arm bar - the arrogant/baggart/loud mouth Ronda will receive a well deserved whipping. No one respects Ronda's lack of manners.

robthornton72 said...

LOL, and there's the next commented to prove my point :)

Al B Here said...

Ronda did an awesome job. She's a world class athlete. 'Nuff said.

Julie said...

I was so happy for Ronda Saturday night. Congratulations to her on shutting the critics up...for a few minutes anyway.
I train Judo and jujitsu at Welcome Mat Judo club, taught by Steve Scott, whom I understand you know. Coach only has good things to say about you. He says that you and his wife are the only two women he's ever been afraid of. :) Congratulations on the new grandbaby!

SharonMcGuinn said...

A good striker would take Ronda apart.

Meisha's striking is pretty weak, but even she had Ronda on her back foot looking sloppy.

And, when Ronda punches back it looks alot like a drunk hobo swatting at flies.

Remember when Mark Coleman fought Maurice Smith (kickboxer)? Coleman was useless standing up. It's pretty clear Ronda's striking is even worse.

sharonMcGuinn said...

How is Ronda a world class athlete?
By winning this fight?

Come on now. The talent pool in female mma in any division is shallow. I have no problem admitting that.

Meisha had 12 professional wins and 2 losses prior to this fight. Just too small of a pond to say "Ronda is a great athlete".

Al B Here said...

SharonMcGuinn: Ronda is a world class athlete by virtue of the fact that she WON A MEDAL at the OLYMPIC GAMES, and a number of INTERNATIONAL Judo competitions. Give your head a shake.

Georgette said...

A friend just referred me to your blog-- I'm a BJJ fighter in my spare time, and a big fan of your daughter's. Was just wondering if you could comment (as a judoka, or if you care to, as someone with specific knowledge of Ronda's technique/strategy) about her crossing her ankles and keeping her knees wide apart when she's armbarring. I find that minimizes my control of their upper arm. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ronda is the real deal. That was the sickest arm bar I have ever seen. There is something mystique about Ronda. She kind of reminds me of Fedor when he was fighting in Pride.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Hey, Jeremy -

I didn't say I wouldn't do any armbar posts. I said I wouldn't do any armbar ESCAPE posts.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Georgette -
She usually has her knees together doing her armbar. Maybe it was just the heat of the moment of her opponent resisting strongly she didn't get quite perfect technique.

Julie -

Yes, Steve and Becky Scott are two very long-time friends. My youngest daughter is named Julia Rebecca after Rebecca Scott.

dsimon3387 said...

I love your blog, the comment you made about athletes looking for an excuse to lose.... classic! Your take on education is right on as well!

Regarding the fight, from the vantage point of someone who was trained through trauma induced scenerios and fighting, I know people get freaked by dislocated joints and depending on the area these dislocations can be traumatic to various degrees. My own younger days involved karate and most fingers have been broken or dislocated and there have been other serious injuries.

Thing is the elbow imo is generally a nice clean displacement, shoulders (by comparison) involve Bursa (something like Oni Kudaki sheesh!) Yes it hurts but Tate should be fine and the price we all pay for our participation in this insanity (haha) on those cold arthritic inducing days, is...well the price we pay to achieve a goal. Its not like we would live forever otherwise.

From congrats to your lovely daughter and to Tate. I guess I felt for Rhonda when even some MMA people (I train a few so it suprised me frankly) made it seem as though Tate's injury was so horrible.

Rhonda persective on the dislocation makes more sense if you understand the actual amount of pain and suffering and not the sensational look of an elbow bent acwardly. Give me a dislocation instead of a few IQ points off the top from a good shot to the head any day of the week.

mmafanatic said...

Sharon, no one is saying that women's mma is deep with talent. Don't make up arguments in your head.
I think any mma fan you ask will admit that women's mma does have a shallow talent pool. It's a nice win that Ronda had. But this is like determining the best team in the XFL. Not alot of talent to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your daughter's fabulous victory.

To people bitching about Ronda Rousey's record and the record of her opponent:
-BJ Penn was 3-0 when he got his first world title shot (which he lost) and 5-1 when he got his second one (which ended in a draw)
-Brock Lesnar was 2-1 when he got a world title shot (which he won)
-Randy Couture was 3-0 when he got his first world title shot (which he won) and 15-8 when he upset Tim Sylvia when he became World Champion for the final time.
-Tito Ortiz was 4-1 when he got his first title shot (which he lost) and 4-2 at the time he got his second one (which he won).
-Alistair Overeem has 11 losses to his 30 wins, and he's the rightful #1 Contender for the UFC HW crown.

The fact is, 12-2 is a perfectly respectable record for a champion and 5-0 is far from unprecedented for a challenger. Women's MMA is at a stage that Men's MMA was at 10 years ago in terms of depth so women don't have as many options building up their records on lesser competition before they all fight each other. Early Men's MMA was no different and the people I listed are legends.

Even GSP, in the deepest of divisions, was 7-0 when he got his first title shot.

It's a dumb argument.


Anonymous said...

"A good striker would take Ronda apart."

Like who, Muay Thai wrecking ball Julia Budd? Or how about the former IKF World Champion Charmaine Tweet, who fought Rousey at 150 catchweight?

Did those people take Ronda apart? Or did Ronda part them from their arms?

I agree that a good striker, like say, Amanda Nunes, would certainly have a puncher's chance, but that's not saying much.

Then again some people are simply in denial here. Still upset that Miesha lost?

Anonymous said...

Ronda will not have any problems with strikers. Tate mentioned that she has mega power in her hands and she has been knocking out guys including Brian Caraway at her gym. Tate was unable to knock out Ronda. She has a really good chin.

ZeroSport said...

Anon @ 10:08 don't be silly.
Tate was hyping herself up.
And Ronda is very bad with striking, why is it a big deal to mention this? Funny image "drunk hobo swatting at flies". Ronda's punches aren't the prettiest thing in the world.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. De Mars,

I would like you to make some comment's regarding Miesha Tate's comments about Ronda's bad Judo habits from Muscle Memory that won't work in MMA and where the hell she came up with the stats that Wrestling beats Judo 9 out of 10 times. Seems like Miesha was wrong in most everything.

Anonymous said...


So you mean there is a way to escape an arm bar once your elbow is locked and fully extended?


Anonymous said...

"Ronda Rousey is going to be a big star."

Dana White – UFC president

Apparently Dana does not think that there is anything wrong with Ronda's striking.

JennMMA said...

I'm torn on what to say.
First off. GREAT WIN RONDA!!!
I'm confused as to what some of you are arguing about. Does Ronda have great striking ability? Of course not. Heck, she admitted this herself in an interview. I wouldn't say she looks like "a hobo swatting at flys" (funny phrase though. for RR's sake, let's hope no one picks up on this).
And women's mma does not have many skilled competitors. Women mma fighter have said this themselves. But let's be honest, men's mma isn't all that deep either. I've seen too many top dogs losing to no names. Hell!! I've seen Tim Sylvia KOd by some 50 year old boxer. So before people bash women's mma saying there's not alot of talent just look around at men's mma.

Anonymous said...

Dr. De Mars,

First of all, just wanted to extend my Congratulations to Ronda for all the success she's achieved at such a young age of 24.

1) Gold medal at Junior Nationals
2) Gold medal at Pan American
3) Gold medal at several World Cups
4) Silver medal at World Championships
5) Bronze Medal at Olympic Games (and 2 Time Olympian)
6) Strikeforce World Championship

In addition, at just 24 years of age she was the feature attraction in the Main Event of a major ShowTime card; a card where everybody tuned in for the sole reason of seeing her fight (i.e. there were no other major fights on the card so Rousey vs. Tate pretty much carried the entire card).

Not only that, but under such incredible pressure she actually delivered one of the most exciting performances ever seen in women's MMA. This fact is even more impressive when viewed in the context that she's only been competing in the sport of MMA for a little over a year.

I also just wanted to point out a major misperception in the MMA media (for all readers here).

If you listen to certain MMA media sources (including Miesha Tate and her fans) there seems to be this false perception that Ronda was the person making vile comments towards Tate and that Ronda created the animosity between the two fighters.

Miesha herself has given interviews stating that Ronda's not as mature, altruistic and good natured as herself; suggesting that she's a better role model than Ronda for MMA.

However, what few people seem to realize is that some of the most vicious and vile statements ever said from one MMA fighter to another were made by Miesha towards Ronda these past few months, not vice versa.

For example, although Miesha claims she's a better role model for kids, she has nonetheless publicly stated that she wants to MAR RONDA'S FACE, DISFIGURE RONDA'S FACE, MAIM RONDA, MAKE RONDA TASTE HER OWN BLOOD, KNOCK HER OUT COLD and HIT HER IN HER BIG MOUTH.

How many parents want to hear that type of "role model" speaking to their kids about sportsmanship at an MMA seminar? LOL.

Another interesting fact: A quick look at their respective twitter accounts shows that Miesha dedicates about 60%-75% of her tweets towards trashing Ronda (or retweeting others who trash Ronda) while Ronda seems to dedicate less than 5%-10% of her tweets towards making comments about Tate.

In other words, since last December Miesha seems to have spent 60%-75% of her free time trashing Ronda and obsessing about Ronda, while Ronda made far fewer remarks about Tate during that time.

I also noticed that Miesha posted nearly a dozen different tweets/retweets disrespecting Ronda's bronze medal, indicating a fixation with the bronze medal which probably indicates an insecurity within Miesha herself (since she hasn't achieved a similar accomplishment in life). If Miesha had just posted one tweet about the bronze medal it wouldn't be a big deal, but making so many different tweets about it indicates an insecurity within herself.

Thus an objective person would conclude that Tate was the person who manufactured most of the vile animosity between these 2 fighters (including invading Ronda's personal space by touching foreheads at the weigh-in) and not vice versa.

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Olympic. Judo. Metalist.

Anonymous said...

Or her trash talking... ;). Frankly, as long as she can back it up, keep it coming. ;)

Anonymous said...

I do not want Ronda to become too overzealous with her striking. I don't want her to be those fighters with excellent background in judo, BJJ or wrestling who decided to stand and bang after they got criticized for their striking. They get knocked out a few fights and their career is over. Focus on the strengths.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

As far as the person who said judo players should focus on their strengths, I completely agree. When Ronda and I discuss her MMA, I frequently quote Molly Ivins - "You dance with them what brung you"

Stephen said... is a comment thread quoting you.

Dave Kim said...

We're fightin' cuz we're fightin' dirty.

Can't get that song out of my head every time I see wmma. Man your den of gals look hot!

Anonymous said...

So now that Ronda is done with Henry, is she gonna go after a real Neanderthal alpha male? Nick Diaz or Alistair Overeem would be good for her to breed with...they may be half retarded but Ronda has enough brains to make up for them; so their kids won't be complete meat heads.

Anonymous said...

Nick Diaz and Alistair Overeem are great fighters but are too dumb. Ronda is attracted to intelligent guys like her mom and sisters.