Some may pull for unbeaten UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey because of her dashing looks and chiseled figure. Others may root for Rousey on account of her bold personality, one that’s drawn comparisons to occasional training partners Nick and Nate Diaz.
Most fans, however, just admire the two-time Olympian's dexterity as a mixed martial artist, particularly in the submission game.
When Liz Carmouche faces off with Rousey in the first-ever women’s bout in promotional history at UFC 157, not only will she enter the tilt a 6.5-to-1 underdog (+650), according to Bodog.net, she’ll play the role of villain in a battle against a proverbial superhero.
Her spectacular rise in the sport has given Rousey merit to do the unprecedented and headline a UFC pay-per-view event. But it almost seems like the twice-beaten Carmouche, the only fighter who volunteered to lock horns with Rousey, represents just another invitee to “Rowdy’s” welcome party to the UFC.
Here are three reasons fans should root for a win from Rousey in her highly anticipated UFC debut.
Not to diminish Carmouche’s skills—because she certainly belongs in the UFC—but most pundits are simply yearning to see Rousey square off with Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
Cyborg ruled the Strikeforce women’s featherweight division with an iron fist for over two years, only to fall off the radar after testing positive for stanozolol (winstrol) following her win over Hiroko Yamanaka.
While Cyborg drifted into relative obscurity, Rousey made a spectacular launch in the Strikeforce women's bantamweight division by piling up four straight wins via first-round armbar .
With Rousey breaking barriers in the sport and Cyborg apparently clean of performance-enhancing drugs, the scrap that could forever alter the fabric of women's MMA finally appears to be on the horizon.
Gina Carano vs. Cyborg greatly aided in the evolution of women’s MMA. However, Rousey versus Cyborg could make that show seem like amateur night.
For plenty of reasons, Rousey has drastically altered the perception of women’s MMA—leaps and bounds more than her predecessors.
Before Rowdy, skilled fighters like Cyborg and Gina Carano helped establish the legitimacy of women's MMA. Carano captivated fans with her stunning good looks and slick Muay Thai techniques, and Cyborg introduced a proficient and ultra-violent brand of striking that had never been seen in the sport from a woman.
But until UFC president Dana White witnessed Rousey armbarring four consecutive opponents in Strikeforce in just 6:25, women's MMA seemed like a laughable proposition in the UFC.
Fascinated with Rousey's propensity to finish in remarkable fashion, White decided to create a bantamweight division for the ladies, based almost solely on Rowdy's exploits.
If Rousey can continue to evolve, chiefly in the striking department, there's no telling what great heights she could help women's MMA reach.
One glance at Rousey's record confirms precisely how dominating and exhilarating she's been in her extremely brief six-fight career.
Carmouche, on the contrary, has built a respectable résumé in 10 pro fights, winning five bouts by knockout, two by submission and one by decision. Carmouche has also gained a reputation as an unpredictable striker who throws unorthodox techniques on a dime.
But Carmouche hasn't shown fans what's made Rousey so wildly popular, and that's the propensity to finish a fight in an instant. Carmouche doesn't seem to have that killer instinct that's rarely seen in female fighting, and Rousey unquestionably does.
While some experts claim that Carmouche rightfully earned her shot at Rousey, others conclude that she plucked the fight on account of extreme bravery—akin to how Chael Sonnen landed his fight with Jon Jones.
Granted, she's undoubtedly solid, but Carmouche, at least at this point in her career, doesn't appear to possess the potential to duplicate the feats of Rousey.