*Full discloser, I am only a whitebelt in BJJ. That being said, armbar defense is something I was taught from day one, and am not bad at as seen by my competition video.*
Last night MMA fans around the world were treated to a beautiful round of fighting between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. As many predicted, Ronda finished Miesha in the 1st round via armbar, but not after Tate demonstrated some solid armbar defense. Ultimately her arm got mangled, but as I re-watched the fight, I noticed some very basic mistakes that Miesha made - mistakes that led to her being finished. Some GIF's and analysis after the jump.
Rousey is an armbar specialist and I am positive that Miesha spent hours drilling armbar escapes. Before we get into the finishing armbar, let's examine the first armbar that Miesha escaped despite being in some trouble.
One of the first things that you notice is how deadly Ronda is from any position. She only has one arm free, but still manages to capture Tate's arm. Miesha correctly rolls into Ronda, and immediately looks to roll on top. Even though Rousey only has one leg over her face, she is able to prevent Miesha from rolling which shows us that Ronda has ridiculous leg power which was seen again in the finishing armbar. Still, a Miesha showed her toughness here as her elbow looked to pop.
The second armbar was much deeper from the get go, and Miesha was just too slow to react.
Whether Miesha liked it or not, she was going to be rolled over. The combination of the Ronda crossing her feet to get good control, and hooking the leg to roll Miesha, Tate should have been focusing on hitting her escape as soon as that underhook was let go. Instead of doing that, Tate was focused on not giving up full control of her arm (understandably) but she should have never even been in that position. Miesha got very close to totally rolling over while she was very deep in the armbar, a sign of her strong bridge technique. She should have used that ability to bridge the second her feet hit the ground, which you notice is before Ronda has full neck/head control with her legs. This was Miesha's only chance to successfully to hit a hitchhiker and she totally disregarded it. As you notice, Miesha doesn't even move from the time that she is rolled until the time that she lost the arm. That is a basic and fundamental mistake in her defense that led to the finish.
Rich doesn't even try and save the arm, he just continues to move and follow through on the escape, not allowing Lutter to fully control his neck by posting his arm on Lutter's right leg.
Miesha allowed an Olympic Judo medalist to get full control of her body before she even tried to do what Rich does above. While she is a good striker and an above average MMA wrestler, Miesha showed that she has some glaring holes in her defensive ground game. I'm looking forward to rematch to see if Tate learns from her mistakes.