Tara LaRosa Doesn’t Think a Striker Will Beat Ronda Rousey

By Sherdog.com Staff Aug 21, 2012
Tara LaRosa

Tara LaRosa is one of the top female fighters in MMA, and on Saturday she was watching one of her counterparts in Ronda Rousey.

In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show, LaRosa broke down Rousey’s first-round submission win over Sarah Kaufman, what makes Rousey so good and more.

On Kaufman’s strategy against Rousey: “I would have been curious to see how things would have went if Sarah had met her head on as she came out from her corner instead of circling. Because as she circled, you saw Ronda kind of stalk her down and sort of made like a spiral toward the cage. As Kaufman circled, she got closer and closer and closer to the cage. Ronda threw the jab to set up the cross, and once she threw the cross and left again, she was already on the cage and able to clinch. I’m curious to see how that would have gone if Sarah had met her in the middle of the cage. It may have just been the same thing, the same conclusion, but I don’t know.”

On mistakes fighters make while Rousey works for the armbar: “With Ronda, when she does go for the armbar and she’s got a hold of you, if you’ve got yourself locked up -- you’ve got your arms locked -- I think one of the mistakes that I’m seeing is that people are trying to pull out. They’re trying to escape by pulling out and stacking, whereas she’s got her feet crossed, and so it allows her knees to open up a bit. If it were me, I think I would try to sit my head back through and work my way into guard. Easier said than done -- it’s just a theory. I haven’t been in there with her yet, so I don’t know, but one of the things that I do when I’m going with someone that is bigger, stronger or even more proficient, I tend to dig my head through to try to get back into guard. Now you’re also risking a triangle, but sometimes that’s easier to defend than an armbar and can give you the space to pass or get out or just get to a safe place where you’re not in danger of being submitted.”

On Rousey crossing her feet while trying to secure the armbar: “When you’re crossing your feet, it allows your knees to be further apart and more open. You can’t squeeze your knees together and close the gap between your legs that is isolating the shoulder. I do think if she had her feet uncrossed and her knees and thighs pressed together, she might have gotten the armbar earlier.”

On why Rousey is so dominant: “I think really what’s going on is she came into the sport with this massive judo background that was leagues ahead of anybody else, whereas we’re all mixed up. We’ve got our mixed martial arts going on. She was very, very dominant at one thing and she used it very well. Instead of trying to feel someone out and striking, coming out in the natural pace of a mixed martial arts match, she came out immediately, would clinch, take someone down with a throw and immediately go to armbar. She’s just that good at it. While she’s continuing to win in this fashion, she’s also continuing to train in all these other aspects and, I think, raise the level of her entire game. When she does get against someone that may give her problems, she’s probably going to be able to do well, I think, when things do finally get mixed up.”

On the type of fighter who could beat Rousey: “I really don’t think you’re going to see a striker, someone who is a striker or a standup artist by nature, bring Ronda Rousey down. I venture to even guess that Ronda may be able to take out Cris Cyborg if that fight happens. All she has to do is get a hold of you. Cris is very good at standup. She’s very powerful. She’s very strong, but can she stop the takedown? Ronda has more than hip throws. She’s got sweeps and trips and all kinds of different things to do. You can see what she does on the cage. Watch as she goes after Sarah Kaufman and gets her on the cage: There’s three or four different things that she moves between, that she finally uses to get her to the ground. If you can hold on to her, that’s great, [but] she’s still going to throw you. It’s what happens when you hit the ground.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:36).

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