How to Kick Ass Like Ronda Rousey
By Dan Hyman / Esquire
Ronda Rousey speaks like she fights: quick, pointed, and direct. In four years, the 28-year-old has arguably become the most dominant and famous mixed martial arts fighter in the sport's history.
"She's the greatest athlete I've ever worked with," Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said.
Her success is thanks not only to her undefeated professional record and a knack for beating her opponents in less than one minute, but also because she's a proudly outspoken firestarter. When Rousey won Best Fighter at this month's ESPY awards, she said, "I wonder how Floyd [Mayweather] feels being beat by a woman for once."
The fighter recently talked to Esquire from Brazil, where she's training, and offered up some killer tips on everything from how to punch someone to what a man should never do when hitting on a tough woman like her.
How to Take a Punch
"The best way to take a punch is to look at it. Honestly. Someone could hit you with the hardest punch that they have, but as long as you see it, it's not going to knock you out. It's the punches that you don't see that knock you out. So you could get tapped with a small punch, but if you don't see it, you're out. But if you look at somebody and you watch their hand hit you, they could throw the biggest overhand right they have, but most likely you're going to be fine. Honestly, I don't know the exact science behind it. But if you watch some people, they can't really strike at all and they're just swinging at each other and they're just clocking each other, but nobody gets knocked out. And it's because everything they're throwing is obvious. And so nothing knocks them out. And then some people are really slick and they can strike really well and they hit you with something that surprises you, even if it's small. That's why you see Anderson Silva knocking somebody out with a jab. It's because they didn't expect it. They didn't see it coming."
How to Throw a Punch
"I wasn't really allowed to throw big punches at the beginning. I spent the whole first year of my career just on my legs. If you have good legs under you, then you can punch. Anybody can stand and throw their hands and look like an idiot. If you actually want to learn how to punch, you have to work on being balanced on your legs and feeling your legs under you. Feel the ground. I wasn't allowed to throw big hooks and overhand rights until I'd been striking for three years. It's so you don't rely on those things from the very beginning. If your footwork sucks and you can only stand in one place and throw your hands all crazy while the other person is running around, you're never going to be able to hit them. So what's the point? You have to have good legs to catch somebody first before you hit them."
How to Intimidate Someone
"You have to personalize it for them. Every chick I try to intimidate in a different way. You have to think about their personality. You have to think about what would get under that particular person's skin the most. You know what I mean? Some people, if you get in their face, that will intimidate them the most; some people, if you're chill and relax, that will intimidate them the most; and some people if you can just make them feel stupid, that will intimidate them the most. You just have to really customize it for a person. There's not one way."
How to Excel at the Mental Game Before a Fight
"On some people, it works. It's like how some swimmers shave their arm hair because it could make a difference but it probably won't. When I fought Sara McMann, who is a silver medalist [at the world championships], and Liz Carmouche, who is a Marine, they're not going to be intimated by things that I say. So I'm not even going to bother or waste the energy. But other people, other girls, I'll intentionally outwit them as much as I can during the press conference and make them look dumb. Or I will try and get in their face. Or I will try to act crazy and make them think that I'm nuts. You have to think about every individual person. This chick coming up [Bethe Correia]: I just don't like her at all. So she's getting more of my crazy side! [laughs]"
How NOT to Prove Your Toughness
"Oh my God! When people try to make you flinch during stare-downs [laughs]. When they try to fake come at you. There's not fake coming at me! You either do or you don't! The fake-coming-at-you thing, it's like, 'Oh... I made you blink!' That is some bullshit! If anyone tries to do that, I can't help but roll my eyes. It's the corniest shit ever. I think it was my first pro fight when the chick tried to do that. I was like, 'Are you kidding me? You really want to do that right now?'"
How to Win a Bar Fight
"Grab a chair. That's what my mom [judo champion AnnMaria De Mars] told my sister when she went off to college. She didn't give her advice on how to do laundry. She said, 'Listen: You're a small person, so if shit goes down at a bar, you grab a chair and you just start swinging it around.' She never taught us how to put makeup on, she never taught us how to cook, but she did teach us that if you get in a bar fight, you grab a chair and swing it around."
How to Approach a Tough Woman
"Even corny lines can have their appeal sometime. Like, 'Aw, you tried!' It opens up the talk."
How NOT to Approach a Tough Woman
"Trying to act tough. Some guys are like, 'Oh, I think I could take you!' Or 'You think you could take me?' Or 'Please don't armbar me!' That kind of stuff is the biggest immediate turnoff ever."??
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