U don't seem to be understanding, Ronda has to close the distance in order to get into the clinch and initiate Judo trips/throws. She was not successful at all with coming forward and closing distance because Holm had better footwork/movement and better boxing at range. Ronda didn't score takedowns/trips/throws because Holm never allowed her to get into range to do those things.
I understand that holm had her on the run quite well. I've watched enough lyoto machida matches in my system to know someone whose style is based off of forcing others to give chase. Eventually everyone learned his style and look where he is now. Once jones caught him he forced him into submission while standing. Its not about allowing someone in competition, its about making your move when you see your opponent make theirs. She could've closed the distance, but she wasted it on missed punches. As I said before to someone else, Rhondas teammate told rhonda at her break before the second round that holm was squaring her up for left jabs while keeping her in good spirits. Once she knew she was a target she should've known what to do. How she has plenty of time to go back to the drawing board. The part where you said that "Holm had better footwork/movement and better boxing at range" im in comlete agreement. But the majority of the match Rhonda was still boxing with her. I mean...am I wrong there?
The whole mystery behind Machida's style was always just a marketing gimmick to hype him up just like saying Ronda is a once in forever athlete. He didn't start losing because people suddenly figured out his style, he started losing more often because he now fights top 10 opponents each and every fight, he was never a dominate presence like the UFC hype train tried to make it seem back in 2009. He was an undefeated 8-0 prospect coming into the UFC and slowly worked his way up beating lower/mid level competition, around 2009 is when he started fighting elite level competition on a regular basis and his record from 2009-2015 is 9-7. He has had some dominant performances (Thiago, Rashad, Couture, Bader, Munoz, Dolloway) had some competitive wins (Rua 1, Henderson, Mousasi) some competitive losses (Rampage, Davis, Wiedman) and had some fights where he was convincingly finished (Rua 2, Jones, Rockhold, Romero). He hasn't won more than 2 back to back wins since 2009, he has never consistently beat top 10 opponents and was never to dominant fighter people seem to think he was.
No, she couldn't close the distance because she has rudimentary footwork, if she couldn't get close enough to hit Holm than she sure as hell couldn't get close enough to clinch, it's as simple as that, u can't clinch something that u can't get a hold of. It's not as simple as, "oh I'm getting hit, I better clinch!!!" because Holm never allowed her to close the gap and be close enough to clinch for any significant amount of time. Rousey's skillset was not where it needed to be in order to beat Holm, that however doesn't mean she is always destined to fail against Holm, there are some things she can do to improve.
Number 1 is better boxing fundamentals, Rousey is never going to be as good a boxer as Holm, just like Holm is never going to be as good of a Judoku as Rousey but having better boxing fundamentals will allow her to close the gap. She can't just come plodding straight forward throwing haymakers. She needs to use lateral movement to cut off the cage, use a solid jab and straight punches to establish range, use feints and level changes to keep Holm guessing. With these things she potentially trap Holm against the cage where she can utilize her Judo to score takedowns.
Number 2 is if and when the fight goes to the ground, don't rush for submissions that aren't there. Rousey has been used to being able to armbar pretty much anyone from any position. The one time she had Holm on the mat, she immediately went for an armbar that wasn't there and allowed Holm to get back standing. Again, it comes down to solid fundamentals, one of the first things u learn in grappling is position over submission, when Rousey has Holm down she needs to stay heavy and keep her down then soften her up with some ground striking to allow her to pass guard then set up her submissions from there.
Rousey can potentially win a rematch, it just comes down better fundamentals in all aspects of the game and not thinking she can KO/submit/throw anybody whenever she wants.