This Saturday night sees a return to action for Strikeforce and, perhaps most importantly, the return of "big time" women's MMA. Not to take anything away from those women who have been featured by the promotion over the past few years, but since the Cristiane Santos vs. Gina Carano bout, there has been a real lack of fights that felt bigger than that singular bout.
With Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey set to square off for Strikeforce's 135 pound title, their bout was already important. But the trash talk between the two has elevated it to something slightly bigger than just "the next women's title fight."
Rousey is currently a heavy favorite at anywhere between -285 and -350 based on her aggressive judo game which does utilize a great deal of submission attacks. Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting had a chance to catch up with Rousey and talk about a variety of topics, but they did dive into the judo vs. wrestling aspects of the bout:
Luke Thomas: There's obviously a lot of overlap between amateur wrestling, folkstyle, freestyle, Greco Roman and judo but I guess my question to you would be, why does your judo beat Miesha Tate's wrestling?
Ronda Rousey: I think it's because I have a very unorthodox style of judo in that I kind of have a weird European-Japanese-Brazilian jiu-jitsu mix that is extremely hard to prepare for and I train with world champion and Olympic medalist wrestlers several times a week and there's no way that she could have judo players of my caliber to train with. It's just such an unorthodox style that I don't think she can be nearly as prepared for me as I am for her.
Luke Thomas: You come in reaching for her arm, I've never seen you change elevation at least not yet in your career. More than just being a different style, I mean the particular application of it. Is she not going to be as strong as you, is she not going to be able to understand the angle at which you come to grab her, what do you mean?
Ronda Rousey: Well, yeah, like you were pointing out, for judo players, you don't change levels when you come in for the takedowns, you telegraph a lot less. What was the rest of your question, just the advantage that judo players have in general?
Luke Thomas: I guess I'm just wondering, I talked to [Tate] and her sense was that her wrestling really had a lot of different tools to stop your judo and what you're telling me is quite the opposite in a sense that she doesn't even know what she's getting into.
Ronda Rousey: There's no way she can know because I'm not a normal judo player and she, I think it's ridiculous to assume that you know how to defend a style that you've never fought against or had any experience training with.
Full audio of the interview can be found after the jump...
Full interview audio: