Ronda Rousey steps underneath the brightest lights in mixed martial arts Feb. 23 when she co-headlines UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif. The pay-per-view card also features a critical light heavyweight matchup between Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson.
Ronda Rousey, though, is the biggest and brightest name on the UFC 157 marquee. Perhaps you've heard a thing or two about Rousey, the first woman champion in UFC history. The Olympic judo bronze medalist is 6-0 in her pro MMA career, never going past the first round. Some believe her fighting blueprint makes her a bit of a one-trick pony. Given the results, though, Rousey's trick—throw woman down, force woman to tap to armbar, attend press conference—is the equivalent of watching a pony hurdle a barn. Repeatedly. It's not something that's going to get old right away.
There's also the fact that Rousey, for good and ill, is not exactly parsimonious with her opinions. Oh, and there's the small detail that she possesses a few of the physical attributes often said to be prized by the superficial man.
Her UFC 157 opponent, Liz Carmouche (8-2), is largely being treated as a warm pair of arms for Rousey's contorting pleasures. But she has her own story to tell. A Marine and war veteran, Carmouche is the first openly gay fighter to sign with the UFC. She has her work cut out for her in the cage, at least if the pundits and oddsmakers have it right; she's currently a huge underdog on the big betting boards.
In the co-main event, Machida (18-3) looks to make it two in a row in the light heavyweight division against Dan Henderson (29-8), who has won four straight and, at age 42, might be making one last run at the belt. The winner will be well positioned to challenge champion Jon Jones this year. Machida previously faced Jones in 2011. He arguably won a round from Jones—a major accomplishment in itself—before losing in the second by guillotine choke. Henderson and Jones have never fought.
Here's the full fight card for UFC 157:
Women's bantamweight: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Liz Carmouche (championship bout)
Light heavyweight: Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Bantamweight: Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
Featherweight: Chad Mendes vs. Manny Gamburyan
Welterweight: Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler
Preliminary card (airing on FX network):
Heavyweight: Brendan Schaub vs. Lavar Johnson
Lightweight: Michael Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen
Welterweight: Court McGee vs. Josh Neer
Lightweight: Sam Stout vs. Carlos Fodor
Preliminary card (broadcast on Facebook):
Featherweight: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice
Welterweight: Kenny Robertson vs. Brock Jardine
Welterweight: Jon Manley vs. Neil Magny