Ronda Rousey defended her UFC women’s bantamweight crown Saturday with a first-round stoppage of Sara McMann.
After the fight, MMA veteran Javier Vazquez joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show to offer his analysis.
Vazquez on what it feels like to take a liver shot like the one that stopped McMann: “When you get hit in the liver, it feels like basically acid is being spilled on your insides. It’s almost like you wring out a sponge and all of the venom that’s in whatever, in the liver, gets spewed out and you get a burning sensation. It basically paralyzes you to where you have a hard time breathing. You have a hard time moving. If you’re not used to getting hit that way -- even if you are sometimes -- if the strike is placed in the right spot, you just fall. You have no choice. Your legs go out from under you and you have no choice but to fall.”
On why it’s difficult to defend yourself after a liver shot: “It freezes up your whole body. Your brain is telling you to go, and everything seems like it’s in slow motion when that happens. You can’t move anything. It’s a paralyzing pain. I don’t know how else to describe it. … The effects last for a while, a good several minutes after you get hit there. Sometimes it takes you a second. It affects your cardio, it affects your movement, it affects everything. It’s such a weird experience, especially if you’ve never been hit there, for people to understand.”
On how McMann could have defended better: “One thing is keep your back off the fence because you’re in a stationary position and then Ronda was winding up and throwing those knees to the body. … Just stay out of the clinch. I thought Sara McMann did an outstanding job with the basic one-two combo, jab-cross combo, and she kept landing it over and over and over again [but] let herself get clinched up and put her back against the fence.”
On why it’s hard to avoid clinching with Rousey: “She does a really good job of cutting off the ring. If you watch her feet, she has pretty good footwork as it comes to cutting corners and pinning you up against the wall. What girls need to start doing a little bit more is being able to turn her off the wall and circling their backs off the fence.”
On why Rousey was getting hit: “She doesn’t move her head. She keeps her head in the exact same spot. She just kind of comes forward. She’s not really slipping and rolling underneath anything. She just kind of comes straightforward. The other thing that’s available is people being able to hit her body, but she does a pretty good job of clinching. Girls have a hard time keeping her at the end of their punches.”
On what else opponents could do differently against Rousey: “People need to slow her down a little bit. They need to tag her liver a little bit, tag her body a little bit, to slow her down a little bit and slow those feet down. She’s such an elite athlete, you’ve got to kind of hurt her to the body. Obviously she’s got a hard head. … People have to be able to keep their back off the fence. They have to be able to break the clinch and turn off the fence if they are in the clinch. They need to be able to use footwork and angles to maintain the distance and keep her off of them and then pick her apart from the outside. She can’t take you down if she can’t get ahold of you. That’s kind of her thing. She’s a real master at being able to get ahold of people, and once she’s there, she just figures her way through.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at :45).