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Rousey vs Holm: The Sweet Science


PhilBoxing.com




Often the best solutions to complex problems are the simple ones that are least dwelt on 'cause it requires so much of us; as the extended hours behind closed doors, working alone in the dank corners of a local gym, without the cameras and the spotlight, ducking and weaving repetitively, dipping the soul, hitting the bag to align oneself, enduring the pains of learning with humility and passion, aligning one's soul with old virtues as patience, or the final resolve to use power when absolutely necessary.

When confronted with the most dominating athlete in the world in a confined space of mixed arts that once started off with practically no rules, Holly Holm reached back to utilize the practical application of the science of boxing. It was perhaps an indirect recognition of her weaknesses and the dangers of charging against a stocky, presumably stronger and more powerful Ronda Rousey, and for that boxing was her equalizer, at least for the most part of their fight. While casual fight fans equate movement for cowardice, Holm's tactical positioning took away Rousey's ability to hold her down. At first it seemed that the defending champion was trying to prove something by trying to outbox the boxer, but it turns out that Holm never left her much of a choice, where all that muscle and timber-y arms made her look stiff and lumbering, and gassed out by the end of the first round. There were occasional clinches, but the once undefeated Ronda Rousey was not able to capitalize on it. Holm was systematic, laying down the groundwork as the business and politics of boxing laid down the foundation for other fight organizations to rise, except for the kill. Ronda Rousey kept chasing her in a straight line with no head movement. She couldn't jab, her punches made her look as if she was crawling across a river. Holm stuck to the game plan, whipped a jab or two and halting her temporarily with left straights. Rousey remained blinded by the angles of her punches. Once she threw a telegraphic left hook generated from her bulked up upper body, and Holm ducked under it and spun around with a technical boxer's gait, making her fall on one knee, lost. In a few minutes it became very clear what made the elements of boxing significant- the patience, proper pacing, flexibility, timing, footwork, and controlling distance, etc... and all those times a boxer trained without fancy, the harsh rigors and drills, the whole science of it, became synthesized.

They say boxing is a dying, old sport. Young generations find it boring, and limited, in fact, too limited for the use of only one's fists. Come fight time at the UFC 193 it was too simple it just had to work.

This was the first MMA match I've been able to sit and watch in full. The first thing that stuck to me was how Ronda Rousey, the organisation's biggest star and champion refused to touch gloves before the fight. Self-confidence is one thing, being cocky and disrespectful is another. I couldn't get it and thought the threat of Holly Holm must have got into her head. That's boxing's strongest muscle, I said.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Mark F. Villanueva.


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