While there are many strong grapplers on UFC 168, some of which were looked at in Part One, one fighter in MMA has been able to impose her grappling skills like nobody else. And that person is the UFC’s current women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey. Contrary to popular belief, Rousey isn’t only good at one move, as we break down four of her signature techniques.
Signature Technique #1 — O Goshi
Rousey is great at the armbar, but her Olympic medal in Judo isn’t a paper credential. Rousey starts the vast majority of her fights the exact same way: she jabs her way into the clinch, and pins her opponent against the fence. From there, she wraps her left arm around her opponent’s head, and grabs her opponent’s left wrist with her right hand. From there, she steps her left leg across while bringing her right leg back, off balances her opponent by pulling her opponent’s head down with her left arm, and pulling her opponent’s left arm across with her right arm. She pops her hips, and completes the O Goshi — or hip throw– takedown. Just ask Liz Carmouche and Miesha Tate who have been hit with variations of the technique.
Signature Technique #2 — Ko Ouchi Gari
The secret to being great at doing anything is to do it without forcing it. While Rousey goes for an O Goshi in almost every single fight, it’s not the most common takedown she hits. Instead, she uses the O Goshi to set up her Ko Ouchi Gari, or minor inside reap. When she pulls her opponent’s head down and brings their arm across, it is very common for her opponent to step their left foot forward, to avoid Rousey’s hips from coming underneath them. Rousey does not fear this, rather she expects this. As soon as her opponent steps forward, Rousey sweeps her opponent’s left foot out with her own left foot, while driving forward and landing on top. This O Goshi to Ko Ouchi Gari sequence was hit effortlessly on Sarah Kaufman and Julia Budd in Strikeforce.
Signature Technique #3 — Back Mount Armbar
There are many names for this technique, but maybe one day we’ll just call it “The Ronda Rousey”. When Rousey has back mount, she attacks the armbar in the following sequence: 1: She wraps her right arm around her opponent’s left tricep, and grabs her own left thigh with that arm. 2: She lets go of her right hook, and puts her right shin across her opponent’s neck. 3: She pulls her opponent’s left foot forward, giving her access to her opponent’s right foot. 4: She takes her opponent’s left foot across her (Rousey’s) head, to force her opponent on her back. This was the armbar she finished Miesha Tate with.
Signature Technique #4 — Inside Shoulder Inversion
A very common armbar defense when the both fighters are on their back, is for the defender to bridge into her opponent. This position leaves the person with the armbar on her back, and leaves the person being armbarred on her knees. From here, the defender will usually try to “stack” the attacker’s legs over her own head, preventing any form of extension of the attacker’s body, and in consequence, any extension of the defender’s arm. Rousey ends up in this position quite often, and she uses the standard counter to great effect. Assuming she is attacking her opponent’s right arm, she shoots her right arm through and grabs her opponent’s right knee. This allows her to invert her body into a belly-down armbar position, making it much easier to flip over her opponent. Just ask Sarah Kaufman and Liz Carmouche, both of whom attempted to stack Rousey out of the armbar, and both were unsuccessful because of this technique.