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Nunes vs. Rousey Fight Analysis: What Nunes Got Right By Mark Hatmaker

This nit-picky pulling apart of the fight is coin of the realm this week as such post hoc ergo propter hocarmchair quarterbacking is easy pickings—we’re all experts once the deed is done.

Or as a Viking might say:

Many are wise after the event.” From Fljotsdale Saga

With that said, I throw my rear-view mirror hat into the ring and offer these observations from the flip-side. There might be more to learn from what Nunes got right than from what Rousey got wrong on that night. [And lest we forget, no matter how much went wrong for Rousey, she has performed tip-top on many an occasion.]

[I have idiosyncratically numbered my Six Points in the Comanche Warrior manner.]


Pre-fight. Nunes appears to have gotten inside the head of a fighter who values getting inside the heads of others. Rousey has placed such an emphasis on mind-games and attitude it would seem to reveal that there might be a commensurate valuing of that strategy in herself.

Any fighter coming off of a devastating loss [Rousey vs. Holm] might best return to the game asap if only to prove to the self, “Hey, you did this before, you can do this again.” Lengthy stays away from a game after a loss allow for more rumination time, more time to turn the “What went wrongs” “Can I do this?” hamster wheel over and over again.

A feeder fight to shake these doubts might have been the wise course, but it is not the one taken and Nunes kept up a conversation that fed into these doubts.


Follow a retreating fighter with an overwhelming attack. Rousey chose linear retreat more often than not, rather than allow the gambits that spurred the retreat to stand in good stead and to sniff the blood in the water, Nunes opted to follow the linear retreating vacuum knowing full well that a linear retreat seldom offers anything of noted power in opposition. It’s physics and well-played by Nunes.


There is a boxing maxim: “Hit what’s easy to hit” and in this case it was the head of Rousey. She exhibited “head-on-a-stick” posturing and Nunes had little need to probe to “find” targets. She capitalized on what was there.


To really maximize the power-hand, we need to get a fighter to circle to that side so we can throw with bad intent and reap the returns of the colliding fighter who steps into the onslaught of the shortened path. Nunes showed no hesitation. When her opponent appeared in the path of her power hand, she let that hand fly with zero compunction.


Study Your Opponent’s Strengths and Have An Answer. Nunes was fully aware that this long-dominant former champ capitalizes the high-clinch with precision. The single time the clinch gambit was offered, Nunes pit-posted, shucked, and turned with no hesitation.

Why? Because she’d studied her opponent. She knew it was coming and she had an answer.


Another boxing maxim “Half a punch is worth less than no punch” or sometimes you hear it as “Half a punch is no punch at all.”

It can be wise to probe with that jab to get your measure, but Nunes found her measure early and proceeded to throw every shot with swing for the fences bad intentions. We could quibble with form and defensive hand placement, but why the hell would we do that in this case? A resounding victory does not deserve such nit-picking, leave that to her next opponent’s training camp.

In short, we have a story of an aggressive smart fighter exploiting every mistake she could. Making the story about what one fighter did to lose a fight, in my mind, diminishes what another fighter did to win that fight.

Kudos to Nunes. And here’s to former champ Rousey finding her way.

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51 thoughts on “Nunes vs. Rousey Fight Analysis: What Nunes Got Right By Mark Hatmaker”

  1. First of all, there’s been too much fawning over Rousey. Her head got too big so she got prideful. The way she tries to bully other fighters getting in their space at weigh-ins with that mean pout she always does to intimidate them is so ridiculous and unnecessary. I’m really surprised people can’t see this…but I guess they do and ignore it.
    This is really a good analysis of the fight. I didn’t see the fight on PPV but I did the YouTube clips of it. Wow, just what I wanted to happen…Rousey got “clocked”…again.( meaning she got her “clock cleaned” again. Nunes the victor. I knew if Nunes could hit her hard enough, it would throw her off her game and ‘rock her world’…woot!