Rousey weighed down by reluctance in gym

Lauchlan _james'
It was more than just a tactical error that led to the demise of UFC champ Ronda Rousey, according to a Queensland sports scientist who specialises in mixed martial arts (MMA).

University of Queensland School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences PhD candidate Lachlan James is nearing the completion of an international study on MMA fighters.

"I could certainly relate my findings thus far to what happened in the Ronda Rousey-Holly Holm title fight," Mr James said.

"Rousey publicly professes to not doing - or not needing to do - resistance training.

"But in distinguishing the higher level fighters from the rest, we can say that maximal strength, power and velocity are qualities that stand out.

"Holly Holm displayed superior expressions of these during her win and carries those physical attributes in general."

Lauchlan _james'In January 2015 Rousey told magazine Fighters Only that she focused on specific activities such as wrestling, boxing, sand running, grappling, judo and swimming - and shunned weights completely.

"To be honest, I've never enjoyed weightlifting because there's no problem-solving," Rousey was quoted as saying.

Immediately after losing her belt to Holm, Rousey was criticised for her tactic of following a known striker, rather than sticking to her forte of close-quarters grappling.

Holm entered the contest with an undefeated MMA record (9-0) and a background as a world champion boxer across three different weight divisions.

By contrast, Rousey went into the fight with a 12-0 MMA record, a previous Olympian in judo and named ESPN's Best Female Athlete Ever.

However her build-up was said to be disrupted and marked by displays of cockiness.

"In a weight-class sport like MMA it is important that the mass of an athlete contributes to function," Mr James said.

"Accordingly, we've seen that the skeletal muscle functions of maximal strength and power, relative to body mass, are the defining qualities of high-level competitors.

"It is clear that these are attributes Holm possesses."

Mr James has so far tested MMA athletes from across the USA, Canada and Australia and will do so for another seven weeks before compiling his findings.

Those wishing to join the study can contact Mr James on 0424 411 682 or l.james1@uq.edu.au

Media: Lachlan James, l.james1@uq.edu.au , +61 0424 411 682; UQ Communications Robert Burgin, r.burgin@uq.edu.au , +617 3346 3035, +61 0448 410 364.