Man, oh man! Did you guys see that fight on Saturday night? Holy cow. Now, I want to say that I want to like Rousey in the worst way. But her palpable arrogance is making it very difficult.
The point of this post, however, is to talk about the armbar. I just want to mention a couple of things. Please bear in mind that I’m not an elite grappler or a professional MMA fighter. I’m a purple belt who likes the sport and has been arm barred more times than I can remember. If you haven’t already, check out Ryron and Rener Gracie’s breakdown of the move. Not only are they entertaining, but they’re very detailed.
A lot of people have talked about how she is doing the armbar incorrectly, but there’s a guy in my school who has always done his armbars this way. To a casual observer, she has her feet crossed, making it more difficult to pinch her knees together and isolate the arm.
But I’ve rolled with guys before who have caught me in an armbar like this, and it’s not loose. While I don’t know whether crossing the feet is critical, Rousey’s not being sloppy. Rather, she’s widening her right knee out to put a lot of pressure on Tate’s head. Tate can’t roll her hips over to get her knees up and stack Rousey and attempt what is a very typical defense (shown below). This is a very common defense.
At the same time, she’s got her feet crossed right underneath Tate’s farside shoulder, effecitively keeping Tate from attempting what is a common, last ditch defense shown below. We’ve always called this one the running man, because it looks like you’re running in a circle. It’s called the coffee grinder below.
It looks like the one real opportunity for Tate to escape is in the window before her arm is extended, taking advantage of the widened legs to really drive her elbow to the mat. My personal experience is that this is easier said than done. With Rousey effectively controlling Tate’s head, she will have less torque in her hips to get the momentum necessary to clear her elbow and begin to come up. She was successful the first time, but barely.
Ultimately, I’m curious what you guys think. Has anyone played around with an armbar done in this way? Or, perhaps more relevant, has anyone been armbarred this way? What do you think?
My opinion is that it’s not wrong. It’s different, with its own pros and cons. And as with any different technique, there are appropriate ways to defend against it. I’ll also say that I can’t wait for the rematch. While Rousey certainly won convincingly, Tate hung in tough, and showed some flashes of brilliance. Tate had heavy hips, scrambled very well and at one time had Rousey’s back. There’s a brilliant rematch in the future, I think.
In the meantime, I think Rousey’s going to crush Kaufman….
Check out the full fight (while it’s still posted. I expect the following link to disappear at some point):