Ronda Rousey will put her undefeated MMA record on the line against Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157. It's the first women's fight in the promotion's history, and making it the headline bout shows the confidence UFC has in its newest star.
Rousey made a name for herself by winning her first six fights by first-round submission. Five of them were decided within the first minute, making her a hot topic in the sports world even without the backing of UFC.
Now that she's in the top promotion, her popularity figures to skyrocket if she can continue to win, especially in such dominant fashion. That's the key, however, she must continue to display unmatched fighting ability.
Rousey's style isn't a secret. She uses her power to gain a quick advantage over her opponent, turns it into a grappling match and has mastered the art of the armbar. More importantly, it took longer to write that sentence than it usually takes her to execute the plan.
Her opponents usually find themselves ready to tap out in the blink of an eye. If that remains true in UFC starting on Saturday night, Rousey is going to become a massive star and that's probably why Dana White and Co. decided to give her a chance.
Of course, Carmouche can change that storyline by pulling off an upset. She's 8-2 in her career with five knockouts. She has more striking ability than Rousey, but the question is whether she'll have enough time to utilize it.
Surviving that first minute is probably the toughest part. Everybody will be expecting Rousey to finish the fight right away, so the crowd is going to be hot right from the opening bell. The longer Carmouche can hang tough, the more the momentum moves in her favor.
That said, Rousey's first six opponents all had the same game plan and they walked away with a loss. The California native is a rare talent and it shouldn't take long for the fans to embrace her, which should help UFC as a whole.
It's a historic matchup for the promotion, which is taking a risk by putting Rousey in the main event right out of that gate. But if she lives up to the hype, it will be the right call.
Everybody will find out for sure on Saturday night.
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