UFC 157 Preview: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche Head-to-Toe Breakdown
Ronda Rousey is finally set to lead women's MMA onto the UFC scene. The former Strikeforce champion and now UFC champion will make her Octagon debut at UFC 157 on Saturday, when she will put her new title on the line for the first time against Liz Carmouche.
Though Carmouche is widely being viewed as a sacrificial lamb of sorts, she's a mentally and physically tough fighter who will be looking to spoil the Rousey party at all costs.
No matter your views on this fight, it is a historical one for the UFC and MMA as a whole. A new page will be written in MMA chronicles in the UFC 157 main event, so let's take a look at which fighter is most likely to cement a legacy for themselves.
Liz Carmouche isn't the most technical stand-up striker out there, but she's not afraid to exchange with anyone and has certainly shown more of her striking than Ronda Rousey.
Now that she's had some time to improve her striking in training, Rousey may be the best striker in the women's bantamweight division, but we probably won't ever know until an opponent forces her to stand.
When the fight goes to the ground, Rousey works relentlessly for the armbar. When she does strike, Rousey's punches are primarily meant to set up the submission.
Carmouche, on the other hand, has finished opponents with her ground-and-pound and nearly stopped Marloes Coenen with punches from full-mount in a Strikeforce title fight.
Because Rousey's armbar is so dangerous, she has not really shown her punching power or had her chin tested by an opponent.
Carmouche isn't going to put many opponents away with one shot, but she does have the ability to finish and has never been knocked out.
Overall Striking Edge: Carmouche
Miesha Tate was the only Strikeforce fighter to make it out of the first minute with Ronda Rousey, and Rousey still found a way to take Tate to the ground three times in that bout before finally locking up her signature armbar.
Whether it's her who's getting the takedown or not, Rousey is going to find a way to get this fight to the ground, and Liz Carmouche will be in trouble regardless of whether she's on top or fighting off her back.
If opponents could ever figure out how to escape Rousey's submission attempts, they would actually start working against her.
Rousey takes plenty of risks on the ground because she can get away with them so easily against the competition she has been facing.
Carmouche, on the other hand, is much more careful about giving away a dominant position once she achieves it.
Carmouche has been submitted before, and nobody seems to be able to stop Rousey's armbar even though they know it's coming.
This one is obvious.
Overall Grappling Edge: Rousey
Though Liz Carmouche has had a few more fights than Ronda Rousey, the former Olympic medalist is used to the spotlight by now.
There's a lot of pressure to keep the Ronda Rousey Show going, but the UFC women's bantamweight champion has shown nothing but focus in her previous MMA appearances.
It takes a different level of athleticism to medal at the Olympics.
Carmouche's military background has no doubt made her a physical beast, but Rousey was built to destroy limbs.
There's a good chance Rousey would have no problem competing in the later rounds, but the fact remains that we simply don't know if she can.
Carmouche has experience in the championship rounds, while Rousey has only fought for more than one minute on a single occasion.
Overall Intangibles Edge: Push
When broken down in this format, the matchup between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche appears more competitive than it really should be.
The reality is that Rousey's advantage on the ground far surpasses any striking advantages that her opponents may have over her.
Somehow, Rousey is going to get this fight to the canvas and do her thing.
Rousey defeats Carmouche by submission (armbar) at 1:29 of the first round.