Saturday night offered up one of the biggest upsets in mixed martial arts history when Holly Holm stopped Ronda Rousey with a blistering head kick and series of hammerfists to become the UFC women's bantamweight champion. The ending came at :59 of the second round, but it served the climactic ending to fight where Rousey was dominated throughout. The Olympic judoka had next to no answers for Holm's defensive movements, counters and overall striking prowess and was being slowly punished from the opening bell.
Rousey, in fact, applied constant pressure throughout the bout's duration, allowing Holm the time to prepare her counterstrikes or find her exit from attacks. This lead some on social media to ask: What was Rousey thinking with such a predictable gameplan?
According to UFC President Dana White, asking that is unfair and ultimately, pointless.
"You know, it's funny because all the people that were talking smack about the fight, everybody thinks they're an expert and everybody thinks they know about fighting. Very few people really do," White said at the UFC 193 post-fight press conference.
"If Ronda went out there and ran after [Holm] like a maniac and knocked her out? 'Ronda's the best ever. Ronda's this, that.' Ronda goes out and this happens tonight, 'the gameplan was all wrong; this was all wrong'," White said, arguing had that had Rousey's identical gameplan worked, it'd be hailed for its brilliance. Either way, White argues, it's the same gameplan.
"It's easy to sit back and criticize when you're watching the fight," he continued. "That's exactly the way Holly was going to fight this fight. That was no secret there. The question is, 'Is Ronda going to go in there and try to stand with her? Is Ronda going to try to take her out?' Or is Ronda going to go for double legs, try to get her in the clinch and throw her?'"
For White, what's done is done and trying to second guess Rousey at this hour is more than a bit premature.
"To sit here now and question the gameplan is just as stupid as the people who thought this wasn't a good fight," he said.