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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ronda Rousey: The Iron Mike Tyson of Combat Sports

[caption id="attachment_5965" align="alignnone" width="1600"]Ronda Rousey: The Iron Mike Tyson of Combat Sports (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)[/caption]

UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey (12-0) defeated Bethe Correia (9-1) out of Rio De Janeiro in an exciting 34 second bout via first round knockout Saturday night. Rousey decided to go toe to toe with Correia. That was a dangerous task considering Rousey gained fifteen pounds for the fight in order to compete with the much bigger Correia. In the post fight interview, Rousey said, "Instead of forcing a clinch, I planned to overwhelm her striking first so she would want to clinch. And that's exactly what happened."

In Rousey's past four fights, she has knocked out three of her last four opponents. That is delving into new territory for Rousey, since she is widely known for her signature arm bar submission hold. That arm bar has prevented most of her opponents from going past the first round. Only one fighter came to mind after seeing Rousey quickly demolish the Brazilian -- that fighter is Iron Mike Tyson.

Love him or hate him, Mike Tyson (50-6, 23 KOs) was a dominating force back in the late '80s and '90s. Out of 56 fights, 23 of them did not go past the first round. That includes heavyweight championship fights against Bruce Seldon, Frank Bruno, Carl Williams, and Michael Spinks. Let's not forget the fight against Trevor Berbick where Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history at the age of 20. Tyson dispatched Berbick in two rounds.

Tyson sparked fear in his opponents prior to even stepping into the ring. Who could forget the look on Frank Bruno's face as he looked ill from worry prior to the opening bell. Or the fear overtaking Michael Spinks prior to getting knocked out with a body shot. These men were the best heavyweights in the world, and Tyson made them look amateur. It appeared no one was able to compete with Tyson. Just like it appears no one can compete with Rousey today.

Rousey showed a lot of tenacity and aggression coming out to the opening bell against Correia, just like Tyson did in his hey day. This woman came out swinging with rights, lefts, and knees, overwhelming her opponent. It is no longer armbars galore. Rousey has a lot more tools in her tool box nowadays. And that, ladies and gentleman, is AMAZING.

Rousey has the same exact fearlessness Iron Mike did. Rousey has the same exact look and focus as the former heavyweight champion of the world. Like ring side commentator Joe Rogan said, it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we get to see such a dominating fighter like Rousey. I am ecstatic that I get to stick around and watch.

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