Five years ago this week, Ronda Rousey talked about her mindset in fights and her victory over Miesha Tate. The following is a key quote and Jamie Penick’s analysis from MMATorch.com five years ago this week.
Ronda Rousey discusses her submission win over Miesha Tate last month in Strikeforce, as well as her mindset in the middle of a fight, in an interview with Jonathan Snowden at BleacherReport.com, part of an excellent profile of the Strikeforce Champion’s rise through Judo:
I’m used to that situation, because I’ve seen it so many times. In judo a lot of people will turtle like that and hope the referee comes in to save them. It didn’t happen by accident. I kind of led her to turtling up.
She ended up in the turtle position because first I threw her, then I jumped across her body so I could get my knee on her belly, which led to the mount, and she turned out of it. I forced her onto her stomach and from there, the only way she could get out was to turtle up.
It’s not quite chess, where I know where she’s going to be in five moves. But I know with every move what her options are and the answers to every one of them. So it’s kind of like being a step and a half ahead.
Penick’s Analysis: The full piece is well worth a read, as her rise through judo to the Olympics is profiled in interviews with coaches and family members, and gives a great picture of who Rousey is as a person and as a competitor. This quote from Rousey herself stood out to me as a great example of the mental aspect of the sport, and how really intelligent fighters are able to utilize their skills in a more efficient manner. Rousey is constantly looking to set things up, and it’s clear with how quickly she’s stopped her fights that she’s able to implement that mindset in each bout. Using this breakdown of the Tate fight, you can see her description at play when you re-watch the tape of the fight, and the fact that she can constantly be thinking a couple steps ahead is a testament to her skills. Those abilities make it hard to see her getting beat anytime soon.