Ronda Rousey, the UFC's first female champion, and Liz Carmouche, the UFC's first openly gay fighter, will be the subject of UFC Primetime: Rousey vs. Carmouche, the most recent installment in the UFC's regular program hyping big fights and fight cards, will premiere Thursday night.
East Coast denizens may have to stay up past their bedtimes to catch the mini-series debut, as it airs tonight at midnight on Fuel TV.
Rousey will defend her title for the first time in the first women's fight in the UFC, set for the co-main event of UFC 157, taking place Feb. 23 in Anaheim, Calif.
According to MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, the program also will air on select Fox Sports Net channels.
Rousey is unquestionably the biggest star in women's MMA. She might be the biggest star in the entire sport. But Rousey is more than just a pretty face; she has a pro MMA record of 6-0, with all six fights ending in the first round by armbar submission.
Liz "Girl-Rilla" Carmouche (8-2) is primarily a stand-up fighter, having garnered five wins by knockout or technical knockout. She is also a Marine and a combat veteran.
Carmouche's two most high-profile fights—against Marlos Coenen and Sarah Kaufman—both ended in losses for Carmouche. When she was signed in December, UFC president Dana White implied that Carmouche was the only fighter willing to face Rousey. However, other accounts, including that of Rousey victim and rival Miesha Tate, have disputed that implication.
Carmouche, a heavy underdog coming into UFC 157, previously said she believes the UFC may be rooting for her to lose, in the name of preserving the mystique around Rousey, the face of women's MMA.
As the hype for Rousey vs. Carmouche kicks into high gear with UFC Primetime, the hype is already in overdrive for a potential showdown between Rousey and Cristiane Santos, considered by many the only fighter who could dethrone Rousey.
Also on the UFC 157 card, light heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson do battle in what could determine the next challenger for Jon Jones's championship.