July 2nd, 2015
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The story below was written before Saturday night’s fight in Rio de Janeiro, in which Ronda Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds. That means Rousey is 12-0, and 6-0 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the biggest promotion company. Rousey has now won nine of her fights by armbar submission and three fights by KO/TKO, and remains the best pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world.
Ronda Rousey is the rare athlete who dominates her sport while transcending it. You might recognize her from a cameo in the recent “Entourage” movie, or maybe you read about her in The New Yorker. Or maybe you saw clips of her last fight — all 14 seconds of it.
But in case you’ve been living in a pacifist commune, know this much: Rousey is the best female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the world. Top male fighters are wary of facing her. With an 11-0 record going into her much-publicized fight against Bethe Correia on Saturday, she’s arguably the biggest draw — man or woman — in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the biggest MMA promotion league.
Beyond being simply “the best,” the former Olympian in judo — who, in the 2008 games in Beijing, became the first American woman to medal in the sport — is known for winning astonishingly fast. Her previous two fights lasted 30 seconds. Combined.
Plotted below is the winning percentage of 2,135 MMA fighters (men and women) who have won at least three fights.1 On the x-axis is what I’m calling a fighter’s “fight speed score” — a measure of how much time is left in the fights they won versus how much is remaining in the bouts they lost.2 On average, Rousey has won her 11 fights with 90 percent of the scheduled fight time remaining; only three of her fights took more than 66 seconds.3 Combined with her undefeated record, this blazing-fast track record makes her a Lionel Messi-like outlier.