Even if you’re not an MMA fan, you’ve probably heard about the shock victory of Holly Holm against Ronda Rousey for the UFC women's bantamweight championship bout on Sunday. The left-footed kick to Rousey’s head during the second round – now immortalized in memes and newspaper headlines – has been considered the defining moment of the match.
Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, has written a piece in WIRED about the physics behind Holm’s now-iconic kick to Rousey’s head.
There have been a lot of educated guesses and wild swings, but Allain has managed to calculate some pretty interesting stats. For example, he estimated that her average foot speed was 6.3 meters per second (14 miles per hour). From the rest of his work, we were able to add that the recoil of her foot was around 1.6 meters per second (3.6 miles per hour). If you were lacking sympathy for Rousey before, perhaps you can start to feel sorry for her now.
For the full scoop, check out Allain's calculations over at WIRED.