Former UFC champion Randy Couture has had his share of the highest of highs and lowest of lows in his fighting career. From being only one of two fighters side by side with BJ Penn on winning titles in two different weight classes to hanging up his gloves after suffering a highlight reel knockout, “The Natural” knows all too well of the peaks and valleys of the fight game. The UFC Hall of Fame legend spoke with Submission Radio on the recent upset Ronda Rousey faced against the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (transcribed by MMA Fighting):
“I was surprised,” Couture told Submission Radio. “I thought Holly would be the first one to really hit Ronda and I thought she would give Ronda problems with her footwork. She demonstrated amazing footwork. I knew she wasn’t going to be half crazy and run right at Ronda like some of these other girls have tried and run right into her wheelhouse. I was surprised when Ronda did get her hands on her and got her on the ground that Holly dealt with it so well and was able to shed Ronda off and get her back where she needed her in that striking realm.
“I thought by the third or fourth round Ronda would have figured out the footwork and gotten her hands on her and found a way to submit her. Holly had an amazing performance and has demonstrated a ton of class with how she’s dealt with Ronda and the media and all the shock of winning that event. I think, you know, there are occasions where we all kind of need some humble pie and that’s probably where Ronda is sitting right now.”
In regards to the rematch between Holm and Rousey, Couture feels that Rousey has more than a chance of getting the belt back.
“Yes, I think she can make the adjustments she needs to make,” said Couture. “It’s purely a function of focus and gameplan. I think after knocking her last opponent out she was maybe a little over confident with her striking and didn’t give Holly the credit she deserved as a world-class boxer and kick boxer. She went out and tried to strike with [Holm] and paid the price with an elusive southpaw with a great jab that just kept tagging her.
“I think those are things that can be fixed. Change her approach to closing the distance and getting your hands on Holly. Make Holly operate where [Rousey] is strongest. How many judo medalists do we have in this sport? Time and time again that’s where she’s won her fights.”
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