Now this, I would pay to see

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey had an opportunity to run her mouth off a bit, and didn't disappoint at all:
Ronda Rousey thinks she could beat Cain Velasquez, so Floyd Mayweather should be no problem, right? 
The UFC women's bantamweight champion joked on Power 106 radio in Los Angeles last month that she could defeat Mayweather, but only after employing the "monkey crawl" from Bloodsport.  
"I would drop down to the ground and crawl over to him as fast as I can and then I'd grab him by the legs," Rousey said. "I wouldn'€™t even stand up. I wouldn'€™t even be anywhere near him." 
The host "Big Boy" then asked Rousey what would happen once things got to the ground.

"I spend a lot of time there and I doubt that he does," she said.
I know she's joking- although she does have a history of mouthing off about her chances against highly skilled male fighters. But in the extremely unlikely event that this ever actually happens, I would actually consider watching such an event.

If only to watch Floyd Mayweather tear her apart.

Why do I write that? Simple: I actually understand something about martial arts and fighting.

Read the first three words of this post again, carefully. Rousey is the UFC WOMEN'S bantamweight champion. It is important to understand what this means.

First, let's be as fair as possible and point out where Rousey has an advantage. MMA fighters are allowed to target a much wider range of body parts than boxers or "traditional" martial artists, and MMA is far more brutal as a sport than boxing. There are still significant restrictions on what you can hit as an MMA fighter though. Eye gouges, crotch shots, hits to the back of the head, headbutting, and several other tactics are thoroughly illegal under MMA rules. (In Krav Maga, by contrast, groin strikes, hammer blows to the skull, and single-finger strikes to the eye are the first major techniques you learn- which is one of several reasons why Krav Maga is a non-competitive martial art.) With all of that said, in a real fight between a boxer and an MMA fighter of equal size and strength, you'd have to give it to the MMA fighter- those guys are trained to attack in ways that boxers just aren't.

However, second, Rousey is a woman. She simply WILL NOT have the power and the speed of a man of equal size and weight- never mind one who is as fit and as strong as Mayweather. One thing you learn from training with women is that, no matter how fast or skilled or strong they are, they will NEVER be as devastating as a man of similar skill in a fight.

Third, she's a bantamweight. Floyd Mayweather is a welterweight. There is a difference of only about 20-30lbs- but in Mayweather's case, it is ALL muscle. The man never lets himself get out of shape. That difference in weight and musculature makes a huge difference- when you get punched, it's the difference between being hit with a baseball bat and a wrecking ball.

One last thing- Rousey noted that on the ground, she would have an advantage. One of the intriguing aspects of Krav Maga is that you spend a lot of time learning how to get to the ground safely- and then getting the hell off it as fast as possible. The ground is NOT a safe place for a fighter to be. It is far too easy to be forced completely on the defensive, and far too easy for someone with training to hurt you very badly if you're taken to the ground. Rousey may well spend a lot of time grappling and wrestling- which is why a trained and skilled boxer would seek instead to engage using medium-range and long-range punches.

Could Rousey beat most men- those without skill, training, or aptitude for fighting? Absolutely. Could she beat a trained and highly skilled competitive fighter like Mayweather or, worse, Cain Velasquez or Anderson Silva? Not bloody likely. Still, if she's willing to put her (not very pretty) face in harm's way to prove that she stands by what she says, then I'd tune in.

If anything, it would entertaining as hell to watch yet another Strong Independent Woman humbled at a man's hands. At least, for the first two minutes, before it all degenerated into farce*.

UPDATE: In case anyone is wondering what would happen if a skilled and experienced fighter actually took up Rousey's challenge, commenter Supernaut over at Vox's place pointed out the existence of a quite brilliant training video showing Rousey engaged in light sparring with Gegard Mousasi.

The result is... well, hilarious. Mousasi is doing his level best not to break her in two, even when she goes slightly apes**t near the end. He is, quite literally, toying with her.

And this woman thinks she could take out Cain Velasquez?



* This sort of thing has been floated before. It didn't go through, I imagine because we as a species probably have not completely lost our collective marbles just yet and are still, however dimly, capable of recognising the stupidity of putting a male fighter against a female one in the octagon.

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