As much hype as the Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche main event of UFC 157 is getting heading into the show, it is going to be business as usual for both competitors once the bell rings.
This should be treated like a big deal because Dana White had been so steadfast against women competing in the UFC. Now, not only does the first women's fight in company history feature one of the biggest stars in the sport (Rousey), but they are competing in the main event.
Both Rousey and Carmouche understand that they are making history on Saturday. They are also smart enough to know that they have to perform in order for more women to get their big break on a UFC pay-per-view.
Here is what Rousey and Carmouche will be trying to do when the Octagon door closes and they determine who the bantamweight champion is.
Keys to victory for Rousey
The ground and submissions are your friend; use strength and power advantage
Everyone and their brother knows what Rousey wants to do in her fights, because she has done the same thing every time she has stepped in the cage. In six career fights, Rousey has six submission armbars wins.
An even more amazing stat is that Rousey's six victories have taken a combined seven minutes and 39 seconds. For all the training she does to prepare for a fight, Rousey has fought a grand total of 2.5 rounds.
The reason Rousey is so successful is two-fold.
First, her Judo skills are off the charts. That is no surprise since she won an Olympic medal in 2008. No woman in the sport has a skill as well-developed as Rousey's Judo, which gives her an edge going into every fight.
Second, Rousey is stronger than everyone she goes up against. When you add the technical Judo skills, submission ability and raw power Rousey has, you have the makings of an unstoppable force.
It will be interesting to see how Rousey's style changes, if at all, when she has to go longer than one round. That isn't to say that will happen in this fight, it's just one of those great wonders we may never get an answer to.
Keys to victory for Carmouche
Control the pace; stay out of Rousey's grasp; win the points battle
No one is giving Carmouche much of a chance to win this fight, which doesn't come as a surprise given her two losses against Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman in her last two Strikeforce appearances.
However, Carmouche is not devoid of talent. She has good power in her striking and actually dominated Coenen for three rounds before getting caught in a triangle choke in the fourth round.
Regardless, Carmouche can't match Rousey's power, so it is imperative that she dictates the pace of this fight and doesn't give the champion an opening to take her down and lock in the armbar.
Since it is hard to see Carmouche being able to move in long enough to land a powerful strike that could give her a knockout, she has to make this an endurance battle and go for the points victory.
Taking Rousey out of the first round should be at the top of Carmouche's agenda, though she can't be passive in doing so. There has to be some aggressiveness to her approach, just not enough to get caught in a position she doesn't want to be.
Rousey has a knack for grabbing an opponent in the blink of an eye. Carmouche has to be prepared at all times to defend her legs and keep the fight standing to walk away with the upset and championship.
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