Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche: Preview, Odds and Predictions for UFC 157
Ronda Rousey will defend the UFC women's bantamweight title for the first time on Saturday.
Her bout with Liz Carmouche will mark the first time females have ever competed inside the world-renowned Octagon.
Bolstering the UFC 157 fight card will be a likely title shot eliminator between top-ranked light heavyweight contenders Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida. If the winner of that 205-pound co-main event does earn a spot in a championship bout, they'd meet the winner of an April matchup between champion Jon Jones and opposing The Ultimate Fighter coach Chael Sonnen.
As this historic UFC event approaches, let's take a look at the odds of victory for each of the main card competitors.
Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler
Josh Koscheck has been out of action for nine months, and he hasn't picked up a win in more than 12 calender turns. Similarly, Robbie Lawler hasn't seen the inside of a cage in seven months and hasn't had his hand raised in 13 months.
Undoubtedly, there will be a sense of urgency from both fighters when Koscheck welcomes Lawler back to the Octagon at UFC 157.
A former NCAA wrestling champion, Koscheck has the ability to take just about any 170-pound fighter in the world to the ground. He's scored at least one takedown in five of his past six bouts, and the one fight he wasn't able to score a takedown in ended in a first-round knockout win.
Lawler is a dangerous striker, but he's been taken down in four straight fights against some opponents not nearly as talented as Koscheck. If Paulo Thiago can catch Koscheck, so can Lawler, but he won't have much time to do so before he finds himself on his back.
Josh Koscheck -475
Robbie Lawler +380
Koscheck defeats Lawler by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Court McGee vs. Josh Neer
Following losses in two straight fights, The Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee made the move from middleweight to welterweight and will make his 170-pound debut against Josh Neer on Saturday.
Neer has also fallen on hard times, losing in back-to-back appearances. A win over a well-known opponent like McGee would go a long way toward getting him back on track.
Although Neer is dangerous from all positions, McGee's size will be a problem should he be able to make the cut from middleweight without sacrificing his conditioning. This will be a close fight in all areas, but McGee should be able to pull out a win to break his losing skid.
Court McGee -290
Josh Neer +210
McGee defeats Neer by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
Urijah Faber has competed against elite bantamweights for his past several fights, but a loss to Renan Barao has resulted in a step down in competition for a fight with fringe contender Ivan Menjivar.
Though Menjivar has won four of his past five fights, he's still looking for that signature win that would make him a serious 135-pound title threat.
While Faber has a significant advantage in most areas, Menjivar has not been submitted inside the Octagon. It's likely he'll spend most of the fight on his back, but Menjivar should be able to survive and have his fate decided by the judges.
Urijah Faber -380
Ivan Menjivar +315
Faber defeats Menjivar by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Dan Henderson had a title shot ripped away from him by injury. He must now re-earn that spot in a championship bout against an opponent in Lyoto Machida who presents a very tough stylistic matchup.
Machida is coming off a huge knockout win over Ryan Bader, whose wrestling background and knockout power make him similar to Henderson in many ways.
Stopping 83 percent of takedowns attempted against him, Machida has the ability to keep this fight standing and the quickness to avoid Henderson's looping H-bomb. It will be nearly impossible to put Henderson away like he did to Bader, but Machida's karate style should lead him to a decision victory.
Lyoto Machida -220
Dan Henderson +180
Machida defeats Henderson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche
Liz Carmouche has nothing to lose in this matchup, but that lack of pressure won't make up for the clear technical disadvantages she faces in a bout with Ronda Rousey.
Rousey has taken down opponents with better wrestling than Carmouche and submitted opponents with better submission defense than Carmouche.
This is no knock on Carmouche. She's one of the best female fighters out there, but Rousey is just that much better than everyone else in the women's bantamweight division.
Ronda Rousey -1200
Liz Carmouche +775
Rousey defeats Carmouche by submission (armbar) at 1:29 of the first round.
Betting odds via 5Dimes.com.