There are always points of intrigue with big fights, but UFC 157 will offer some of the best storylines we’ve seen this year.
For the first time in the organization’s history, the headline fight will feature female fighters, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche. And if that’s not reason enough to watch, there’s plenty of other action lined up for the evening.
The card will be comprised of 11 fights, and while there will be no shortage of hard-hitting action in the event’s earlier bouts, the main card will certainly be worth watching.
Let’s take a look at what to watch for in every main-card fight of UFC 157.
Robbie Lawler vs. Josh Koscheck
Lawler is a big striker, and he’ll likely have to keep this fight off the mat if he hopes to take down Koscheck.
Koscheck’s (17-6) last fight went to a split decision, but he’s coming off three wins otherwise. The 35-year-old has an edge over Lawler (19-9, 1NC) in nearly every aspect, but he stands a better chance of leaving a winner if he can avoid allowing Lawler to play to his strengths as a striker.
Lawler has lost five of his last eight matches, and while every striker stands a chance of catching his opponent off guard, he’s not likely to catch Koscheck.
Expect this one to go the distance with a Koscheck win by unanimous decision.
Court McGee vs. Josh Neer
This fight isn’t exactly a highly anticipated showdown. McGee (13-3) and Neer (33-12-1) earned their spot on the main card by virtue of a scratch, and their fight should prove to be one of the less exciting of the evening.
Still, two fighters coming off of two straight losses are a couple fighters with a lot to prove.
There’s a good chance this fight ends by submission. McGee is a takedown specialist, but Neer can do a lot of damage on the mat. Twelve of his 33 wins came by way of submission.
If Neer can’t manage to choke out McGee in the early going, though, it will be a long fight with a unanimous decision likely going in McGee’s favor. He’s a well-rounded fighter who will take advantage of whatever Neer gives him.
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
Like the preceding fight, Faber and Menjivar comprise a matchup that won’t garner a ton of attention. Both fighters are on the decline and neither has a clear-cut technical advantage.
Faber (26-6) and Menjivar (25-9) faced off once before in a fight that saw Menjivar disqualified for an illegal kick. They’ll have a chance to settle the score on Saturday, but it probably won’t be a fight we’ll all be talking about on Sunday.
Faber is an all-around better fighter. The California Kid is equally skilled with striking, takedowns and submissions, and he’ll likely come out on top in the end.
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
With two lesser fights on the card before Henderson and Machida square off, the two light heavyweight fighters had better be prepared to absolutely dazzle on Saturday. It’s safe to assume we can expect big things from both.
Machida (18-3) and Henderson (29-8) are both in line for a title shot with a win at UFC 157, which means there’s a lot on the line beyond Saturday’s fight.
It’s hard to predict what we’ll see from the two when they face off. Machida is speedy and technical, but one good strike from Henderson could end this one in a hurry.
There’s a very good chance that if we see a knockout it will come from the fists of Henderson. He’s never been knocked out, and while Machida certainly has the ability to change that, it’s highly improbable. Either Machida wins via unanimous decision or Henderson gets another big knockout to hang his hat on.
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche
It doesn’t take an expert to tell you what to watch for in this one. The first women’s fight in the UFC should be the most watched bout on the card.
Rousey (6-0) looks to defend her bantamweight title against Carmouche (8-2), but don’t expect the fight to rival the hype. There’s a reason a women’s fight is headlining UFC 157, and that reason’s name is “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
Rousey is an all-around gifted fighter, but she relies heavily on the armbar to submit opponents early in matches. She’ll probably spend more time doing a victory lap than she’ll spend fighting. Carmouche is a major long shot to take down the title.