Nearly fourteen months ago, when Ronda Rousey dropped her UFC championship belt to Holly Holm, she appeared out of condition physically and had no answers to Holm’s elite standup game.
Last night, against Amanda Nunez, Rousey was in excellent cosmetic shape causing many to assume that she had returned to prime form and would dominate Nunez and begin another reign as a UFC champion.
What people, particularly those that have never competed in a combat sport is that the mental side of the game is large than the physical side. Rousey’s standup game looked no more refined than what she displayed against Holm, but her state of mind appeared tortured.
After Nunez landed her first meaningful punch, Rousey was hit repeatedly with straight punches while moving backward in a straight line. She froze, nothing more. Her problems aren’t physical, they’re mental. No amount of preparation will render her victorious until she has the confidence to take a punch from a striker.