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Bellator’s Georgi Karakhanyan Says Ronda Rousey Needs More Sparring With MMA Gloves

Kelsey Mowatt

Ronda Rousey

Everyone has seen footage of Ronda Rousey lighting up the mitts with punches, but Georgi Karakhanyan believes UFC 193 vividly demonstrated the difference between training and fighting.

Over the last couple of years, Rousey has received a ton of praise for the improvements she’s made in her striking game. Not only has she dazzled observers with her mittwork, but Rousey also showcased dangerous stand-up skills against the likes of Bethe Correia and Sara McMann. As a result, there were some folks who believed Rousey didn’t necessarily need to take Holly Holm to the ground, in order to score a win on November 14h. The decorated boxer violently proved, however, that wasn’t the case.

Recently former WSOF featherweight champ and Bellator fighter Georgi Karakhanyan spoke with MMA Fighting.com. The veteran, who used to train at Rousey’s home gym, the Glendale Fight Club, was asked for his thoughts on the star’s defeat. Here is some of what Karakhanyan had to say:

“But when you get hit with MMA gloves, it’s kind of a different story. It kind of showed that, to me, that Ronda couldn’t take a punch with MMA gloves. I know I’m gonna get a lot of sh*t for this…

“She needs more sparring with maybe MMA gloves instead of boxing gloves,” said Karakhanyan. “You can grab anyone from the street and mitt them up every day and in six months they’ll look ridiculous on the mitts. I think MMA has its own stand up. I think if you disagree with that, you’re gonna hit moments like that. I think MMA has its own stand-up and you have to respect MMA. Just like how we respect boxing, because boxing has its own science. But if a boxer comes to MMA, he’ll get his ass taken down and TKO’d or submitted.”

It’s an interesting point, and Karakhanyan certainly isn’t the first person to question whether Rousey’s stand-up was as good as everyone thought. This shouldn’t dismiss the fact, however, that Rousey has become much more than the vaunted submission artist she was during her earlier years in MMA.

One thing’s for sure, if Holm – Rousey II goes down next, it will be fascinating to see what kind of strategy the former champ employs.

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