Ronda Rousey’s bout with Liz Carmouche to headline UFC 157 is a historic event, but that does not mean that the matchup will be any less lopsided than all of Rousey’s contests.
To date, the 26-year-old star has fought professionally six times. None of the events made it past the first round and all of them ended in an armbar submission.
She has completely dominated and overwhelmed every opponent she has faced, and while Carmouche is a worthy challenger for the bantamweight title, the 29-year-old is not capable of avoiding the same fate as all of Rousey’s other victims.
Carmouche is accustomed to being stronger and more athletic than her opponents. When this has not been true, she has struggled.
This was the case when she faced Canadian Sarah Kaufman—one of the six fighters who has had first-hand experience with Rousey’s armbar.
Not only is Carmouche physically inferior to Rousey, but the matchup also presents stylistic problems.
The challenger’s best tactic is the ground-and-pound technique. This is her only true hope, and if she cannot take Rousey down, establish a dominant position and get her punches in, she stands little chance.
Unfortunately, the deficits she faces in strength and speed will make it extremely difficult for her to take Rousey down and near-impossible to establish dominant position once on the mat.
An even bigger problem for Carmouche may come if she actually does get Rousey on the ground.
If this happens, Rousey will have her in perfect position to isolate one of her arms and ensure that her streak of wins via armbar submission stays in tact.
While Carmouche—an exceptionally tough and driven fighter—likely cares little about moral victories, this may be the best she could hope for from UFC 147.
Armed with the knowledge that Rousey will be looking for the armbar early in the fight, she just may have the grit and determination to be the first professional opponent to make it out of the first round against the champ.
Lasting longer than the first few minutes would ensure an impressive showing for Carmouche, but a victory would still be extremely unlikely.
Rousey improving to 7-0 is inevitable, and the only drama from this matchup will come from the question of Carmouche’s ability to last longer than Rousey’s previous opponents.
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