Last Friday, in the main event of UFC 207, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey stepped into the Octagon for the first time since she was KO’d by Holly Holm more than a year ago. She did so against the bantamweight division’s current queen, Amanda Nunes.
Rousey’s comeback fight would go down as a downright disaster, as she found herself on the wrong end of a TKO just 48 seconds into the fight.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about Rousey’s comeback is that her game didn’t seem to have evolved at all since she lost to Holm in 2015. On a recent episode of his podcast with Jon Anik, fighter turned analyst Kenny Florian weighed in on Rousey’s clear failure to improve.
“Nothing was working for her,” Florian said. “She wasn’t moving her head. Her hands started dropping. She was running right into very big shots.”
“She had 411 days to improve as a striker, and unfortunately for her, just wasn’t able to get it done,” he continued. “There really was no difference in what she did against Holly Holm. There was no head movement. There was no variety, There were no angles.”
“She still needs to improve, overall. Even if we take out striking, what about developing skills in getting to the clinch safely? Something as basic as that was not done. For me, as someone who has been in Mixed Martial Arts a long time, that’s just a very basic skill, and she didn’t do that. There were no level changes, no leg attacks as far as dropping to try and get a single or a double leg. That really concerned me.”
Like many fans and pundits, Florian speculated that Rousey’s long-time coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, may have had something to do with her lack of improvement.
“I like Edmond,” Florian said. “I spoke to him in various occasions, but he doesn’t have the experience for high level mixed martial arts. That’s my opinion. He hasn’t been keeping up with it.”
“I just think she needs a knowledgeable, experienced coach, wherever that is,” he added. “She’s going to need much better coaching, and a much better team around her. That’s for sure.”
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