On Saturday night, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey won her seventh professional fight in the first round, staking her claim as the best pound-for-pound female fighter in the world.
She seems indestructible and has literally walked through everyone in her path.
But what’s most remarkable about Rousey is that all of her victories have come via armbar. It’s her judo base.
Rousey was the first American woman to receive a medal in the sport at the Olympics and she brings all those world-class grappling skills with her into the cage every time.
Her fights go the same way.
First she’ll rush to grab hold of you. Then she’ll bring you to the mat where she’ll begin working top control. Finally she’ll take your arm, one way or another, spin her muscular thighs across your face and chest, and sink in the armbar.
The person who will defeat Rousey is one who won’t be taken to the mat by her.
Many claim Rousey is a well-rounded fighter with plenty of skills on her feet. We certainly saw some of her striking in her four-minute match against Miesha Tate.
However, we’ve yet to see anything more than a glimpse into her stand-up skills. We still don’t know if she can take a punch or if she has the footwork and hands to beat up an opponent.
Avoiding getting brought to the mat is crucial for any opponent, but even then, a black belt in jiu jitsu is almost essential to have any hope of surviving the countless submission attempts Rousey can throw at you.
As it happens that Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos has both those skills—both on the ground and standing up.