Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche: Head-to-Toe Breakdown
And with that women have arrived in the UFC.
Ronda Rousey will headline alongside Liz Carmouche in the first ever women's championship bout under the UFC banner, and Rousey will be the automatic champion of the division.
Carmouche is coming off back-to-back victories in Invicta FC. While the focus will be on Rousey, Carmouche should not be left in the background. The former Marine and Strikeforce title challenger brings in a solid all-around game.
This is how the first ever UFC Women's Championship fight breaks down.
This is a hard one to break down because we have not seen Rousey stand for very long in the cage. She makes quick work of taking opponent's arms.
Carmouche is OK on the feet, but just OK. Her striking doesn't blow anyone away.
The most we have seen of Rousey standing was on the Showtime program that featured her training. And she looked good. In an interview with Sherdog.com Edmond Tarverdyan, her boxing coach, said something very telling.
“If I could, I’d turn that girl into a boxing professional world champion. She was sparring with girls in our gym that are like 16-1 and WBA world champions, Lucia Rijker…and Ronda gets the best out of it.”
As Rousey's coach, that should be taken with a grain of salt. It is possible he is trying to hype her striking up, but something tells me that is not the case in this instance. From the little tape I have seen, and the accounts of her training I think her boxing may be at the top of the division. A scary thought.
I chose a picture from Rousey's time in the Olympics to put to rest who holds the grappling advantage.
Carmouche has good wrestling and is very strong, but it will not matter against Rousey. She is a different breed of fighter, and the future of what women's mixed martial arts will look like.
She is not a good grappler, she is not a great grappler. Ronda Rousey is a world-class grappler. The difference has been clear in her previous fights and the talent gap will be clear once again at UFC 157.
If Carmouche is able to take Rousey down, that will be a feat. Although that opens a whole other can of worms.
This almost feels like a wasted slide. We know who has the edge here.
6-0. Six submissions. Six armbars.
No one yet has solved Rousey. And she hasn't been fighting scrubs either. The elite 135-pounders in the world have had no answer for her Judo. None.
Carmouche has two submissions to her credit, but unless a supreme being declares February 23 "Opposite Day," then she has no chance to submit Rousey. She will have to rely on her submission defense for five rounds.
Carmouche's X-Factor: Finding Rousey's Weakness
Carmouche will likely be a massive underdog in this fight, and on paper will not have a clear path to victory. Many may write her off.
The former Marine must find Rousey's weakness early. No one has been able to expose her yet, and in her short time inside a cage there is nothing on tape to break down. Carmouche needs to neutralize the explosive Judo medalist and figure out the puzzle to claim the championship.
Rousey's X-Factor: Dealing with the Pressure
Thus far Rousey has handled the pressure better than most. Her performances have been flawless. But this is the UFC. Those infamous Octagon jitters may creep in.
She is the reason women are fighting in the eight-sided steel cage. She is the face of female MMA, and a growing MMA superstar. Now she headlines a UFC PPV. That is a lot to carry in to this fight against a good opponent.
Everything thus far points to her being able to shoulder the load, but no one can deny that she is not carrying a lot on her shoulders in to this fight.
The odds are heavily stacked in Rousey's favor.
She's the better striker, she's more athletic and she's the best grappler in the division. Carmouche will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to dethrone the reigning champion.
This will likely look like Rousey's previous fights. She will close the distance, get her hands on Carmouche and then the fight will be over quickly. Rousey will continue to show off her Judo prowess and dispatch of Carmouche with relative ease.
The fight, which will probably not last long, will still be exciting. Watching Rousey do what she does best puts everyone in awe.
Prediction: Rousey defeats Carmouche via submission (armbar) in the first round.