Rousey vs. Correia: Lessons Learned

WTF faceFor many of you who regularly watch MMA, Rousey’s victory comes as no surprise.  The fact that she won the match in the first 34 seconds seems pretty run-of-the-mill as well.  For the discerning eye, however, there is much to learn.  Today we’re dissecting the 34 seconds of the fight to see what lessons can be learned to improve your next fight.

Click here to watch the fight

Control The Fight

From the very beginning Rousey was hyper-aggressive.  There was, at no time, a point where Correia had any semblance of ring control.

  • Rousey controlled the center and constantly pushed Correia to the edges of the ring.
  • Rousey delivered non-stop, brutal strikes that forced Correia to keep backing up.
  • Rousey’s strategy was simple and maximized her strengths; force Correia to clinch in order to blunt the flurry of Rousey’s strikes (playing right into Rousey’s hands) or back to the edge of the ring, minimizing her mobility (again, playing to Rousey’s strengths).

Does this mean that you should be extremely aggressive for your next fight?  It depends.

For Rousey, this high level aggression played to her advantage due to her opponent’s expectations of how she thought the fight would play out.  This leads us to our next point…


This is a gaming term for basically coming into a competition with previous knowledge of your opponent.  If your opponent has won their previous 4 fights in a row using Strategy X, it would behoove you to learn how to counter that strategy.

It is no secret that Rousey is an Olympic-level grappler with 75% of her previous fights having been won by submission.  Correia was most likely prepared for a brutal ground fight and spent most of her time training to handle the inevitable takedown.

Rousey, in superb fashion, broke the mold and made no real attempt to take Correia down.  Even when Correia fell at one point in the match and rolled back to her feet, Rousey just stood there and let her stand back up before resuming the slug-fest.

To put is simply, Rousey outmeta’ed Correia’s metagaming.


This ties into Rousey’s extremely aggressive approach to this fight.  Every punch was intended to knock out Correia.  There were no light jabs or feints to be seen.  Rousey wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if she tried to employ normal boxing methods like the jabs and feints.  This would have given Correia time to reset and launch back and interrupt Rousey’s momentum.

This method is a double-edged sword.  If properly utilized, like Rousey did, it can quickly destroy an opponent by never letting them counterattack.  If it goes wrong, you wind up being gassed before the first round is even over.

Be mindful of this tactic and know your limitations before trying to mimic Ronda.


You can learn quite a bit from even a 34 second fight if you know what cues to look for.  Rousey is one of MMA’s most unique and popular fighters right now, and for good reason!  No one can quite boast the same win record as her and it doesn’t look like there’s any sign of her slowing down.

If you want to win, watch what other winners do and work on doing it better.  Get past trying to emulate their styles or techniques and instead focus on what strategies they’re utilizing.

  • How are they winning the psychological war?
  • What do they do to keep their opponents off balance?

Get past the glitz and glam of the spectacular strikes and really dig into the meat of WHY they win.

rousey record


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