|By: Din Thomas
CollegeHipHop.com MMA Correspondent
Since Ronda Rousey emerged on the scene, I have been saying that the reason she was so successful is because she possesses a trifecta of attributes that no other girl had: supreme skill, solid athleticism, and world-class competition experience.
She has faced girls with one, or maybe two of those attributes, but Rousey would quickly exploit anyone lacking in the third (competitive experience).
Meisha Tate has some amazing skill, but she is not that great of an athlete and had never (truly) competed on a world stage until the UFC. Let’s face it, Bethe Correia, she didn’t possess any of the three attributes.
After Rousey defeat at the hands of Holly Holm, I appeared to have even missed another attribute that many female fighters have been lacking: good coaching.
When Holm first signed with the UFC, everybody expected her to do well. She appeared to have the same trifecta of attributes that Rousey has. She has excellent striking skill while Ronda is a supreme judoka. Holm appeared to be a solid athlete, and she certainly had world-class competition experience being a boxing world champion.
But Holm’s first two UFC appearances were far less than impressive.
She went to a split decision with a 6-5 fighter, Raquel Pennington and gave a decent performance against an over the hill, Marion Reneau.
|Ronda Rousey getting an ass-kicking from Holly Holm|
However, Holly Holm steamrolled through Ronda Rousey!
In addition to my aforementioned trifecta, I believe Holly Holm’s missing component was coaching. Unlike boxing gyms, most MMA gyms are structured differently.
High-level boxers will have multiple coaches all working with him or her for the common goal. Typically, in MMA gyms, there are a few coaches and a room full of fighters starving for attention. If you are a fighter making money, you will obviously get more attention than local, regional, or even entry-level UFC fighters.
Women, generally due to lack of opportunity in MMA, have been so oppressed that they never had any real attention placed on them to develop properly.
Most of the women we see fighting essentially handcrafted their skills through their own efforts.
Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn are two of the best coaches in the game. Future Hall of Fame coaches, in my opinion. However, with athletes like Jon Jones, Carlos Condit, Donald Cerrone, and countless other top contenders, you would have to assume Holly Holm was not on anyone’s priority list…until now.
Jackson and Winklejohn assembled the perfect game plan for Holm. And with her skill, athleticism, experience, and trust in her team, she was able to execute perfectly.
I think now we will start to see better women athletes in MMA. Can you imagine if Serena Williams chose MMA over tennis? I suppose coaches will begin to pay more attention to female fighters and take them more seriously. The opportunities for women in MMA are finally being actualized.
And love her or hate her, there is no one to thank more for that than Ronda Rousey.