UFC 157: Which Fighter Has the Most to Gain?

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2013

Feb 20, 2013; Torrance, CA, USA;  Liz Carmouche during today's public workout at the UFC gym in Torrance, CA. Carmouche has a bout with Ronda Rousey on Feb 23 in Anaheim, CA.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The answer to the question is obvious: Liz Carmouche.

Carmouche has the absolute most to gain on Saturday night, and winning the championship belt is the least of her potential earnings at UFC 157.

If Carmouche is able to defeat Ronda Rousey at UFC 157, she will exit the cage a star, and a whole new world will be awaiting her from that moment forward. It would not be just another win for her.

During UFC Primetime, she mentioned she hopes to buy a new car and a house with her winnings. She wants to move her mother back to the United States. A win would allow her to do all of that and much more.

We will not know until the California State Athletic Commission releases the salary information how much Carmouche can potentially take home. However, it is almost a guarantee it won’t be her grand total. The UFC has a long history of handing out locker-room bonuses.

Other fighters on this card are shooting for another win and perhaps a bonus check for a knockout, submission or fight of the night. Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida are fighting for a potential title shot. Those are all great sources of motivation, and on another card, any fighter going for a win, a bonus check or a title would have the most to gain.

Not at UFC 157.

This is a life-altering fight for Carmouche.

She has been through the media circus of this week, and a win would put her at the top of the division. It would become her job to begin to lead the charge. She would take over what Rousey has built, and she is very marketable.

Carmouche opens up different avenues. The LGBT community has been vocal and supportive of Carmouche in her attempt to win the UFC women's bantamweight championship. It is a new market for the UFC to pursue, and she is the perfect person to lead that charge.

Rousey is a mainstream media success for the UFC. Some of that attention will go by the wayside if she loses, and it won’t stick around for Carmouche. However, Carmouche has a very intriguing story that will keep many media types interested in her next bout.

The UFC also spent most of its resources on Rousey leading up to 157. The UFC will have many different ways to promote Carmouche moving forward should she win.

The "Girl-Rilla" wants the UFC title belt. She has a good chance to make a statement at UFC 157 and get the job done.

If she is able to win the fight, her life will be forever changed. The weight of bills will be lifted. She won’t have to work and train anymore. She can transition into being a full-time, well-paid fighter for the largest promotion in the world.

Carmouche’s dreams can become a reality in 25 minutes or less.