UFC 168 was one of the most memorable mixed martial arts events the promotion ever hosted. The main event of the night was the highly anticipated rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman for the middleweight championship. The fight ended in one of the most gruesome freak injuries in MMA history, and Weidman solidified his position as the UFC middleweight monarch. Even so, the most exciting fight of the night wasn’t between “The Spider” and “The All-American,” it was the matchup between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate that put all the fans at the edge of their seats in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Rousey’s rematch against Tate was the toughest challenge of her MMA career thus far. Although she ended up winning by armbar like everyone expected her to, for the first time, “Rowdy” actually had an opponent that survived past the first round.
No one can doubt the heart of Miesha Tate after watching that performance. Unfortunately, her heart just wasn’t enough; she made some serious technical mistakes that cost her the fight.
After the bout, Joe Rogan commented that it was Rousey’s expertise in judo that won her the fight, and he was correct. The champ hip tossed Tate to the ground numerous times throughout the bout. Let’s take a look at how Tate left herself vulnerable to Rousey’s throws, and how she took advantage of it.
Rousey used the same hip toss on Tate almost every time she shot in for the double leg. She was able to do it because Tate’s double legs were getting slower as she became more fatigued. Her slower shots made it easier for Rousey to set up her throws. Additionally, her shots were very high up at the hip and not low down at the legs where it would have been more difficult for her to get thrown.
Notice how Tate is very high up on the hips. Her chest is higher than Rousey’s hips, which makes it easier for her to get tossed.
Again, notice how she’s too high up. Her head is in Rousey’s upper chest instead of the side of her hip, and her hands are above the hips instead of at her knees. Rousey’s already locking up her hands and getting ready to throw.
Using her head-and-arm lock while exploding threw her hips, she kicks Tate’s leg out from under her to knock her off balance.
If we take a look at another one of her throws, we’ll notice Rousey exploiting the same technicalities: being to high up and attacking the hips instead of the legs.
It should be noted that it wasn’t just Tate’s mistakes that led to her being thrown so much. It was also Rousey’s unparalleled judo skills. In mixed martial arts, shooting double legs high at the hip is quite common. Georges St-Pierre did it all the time. But it’s not a good idea to shoot at the hip when your opponent is an Olympic judo bronze medalist. Many believed Tate stood a much better chance if she just avoided grappling with the champ and threw her fists. But for some reason, she felt that shooting for the takedown was a good idea. Whatever that reason was, it definitely contributed to her loss.