Rousey vs. Carmouche Fight Card : Who's Under the Most Pressure at UFC 157?
As it is for any UFC event, certain fighters are going to feel more pressured than usual to perform at their very best.
Whether they're competing for an opportunity at a championship or fighting for their very livelihood as a professional mixed martial artist, certain names are going to standout as needing to exceed expectations.
Well, UFC 157 maintains this notion as it features a variety of familiar faces hoping to avoid a catastrophic collapse.
Here they are.
UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva
The man behind the curtain is usually right on point.
But for a spectacle like UFC 157, in which the first ever true women's champion will be determined, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva may have dropped the ball.
Besides Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida, the rest of the event's main card is bordering average. Silva is putting a lot of trust in Urijah Faber's ability to comeback strong following a loss to Renan Barao, and he's hoping for a shootout between Josh Koscheck and Robbie Lawler that may never actually happen.
Not to mention showcasing Court McGee vs. Josh Neer, a bout featuring a divisional debut and two guys who have not won in over a year.
It has yet to be determined, but Silva could have done a little better planning considering the magnitude of Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche.
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Brendan Schaub may be fighting on the under card, but for a former rising prospect now riding a two-fight losing streak, he's under a lot of pressure to perform well.
Unfortunately for the 29 year old, whose two recent defeats each came by first-round knockouts, he'll have to take care of the heavy handed and extremely willing Lavar Johnson to impress UFC brass.
Johnson has serious power in his hands which could give Schaub problems if Schaub doesn't get to him first.
Not for nothing, but how many guys stick around in the UFC after losing three fights in a row by KO.
The kid needs a win.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The always popular and always formidable Urijah Faber has been put on notice.
Either he beats Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157, or he could be joining Jon Fitch on the UFC's recently cut list.
Now while it doesn't make much sense why the UFC would flirt with the possibility of losing one of the most marketable and well-known athletes in the sport today, it also doesn't change the fact that Faber is the only one that can help his cause.
He needs to go out Saturday night and give it all he has. As if he doesn't already do that.
In any case, based on securing a UFC roster spot heading into 2013, Faber is under more pressure than anyone on this card.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Look, Dan Henderson has a lot to lose.
He's 42, finally experiencing some late-career injuries and is arguably clawing for his last shot to fight for a UFC championship.
If gets beat handily by Lyoto Machida at UFC 157, Henderson could find it very tough to regain the moment he's currently riding.
This is the legend's last chance to make a run at history at owning championship belt in three different organizations (would be UFC, Pride and Strikeforce).
Liz Carmouche really has nothing to lose. She was relatively unknown to the general public before this historic fight, so everything from here on out is icing on the cake.
As far as Ronda Rousey is concerned, she literally has everything to lose.
She's basically the face of women's MMA right now and holds the key to expanding the female role in the UFC heading into the future.
She's also undefeated, extremely popular, featured in every sporting magazine on the grocery store rack and has already been crowned champion without even winning a fight in the promotion.
It's going to be a true pressure cooker for the 26 year old, but if her performance matches her skill set, she'll be just fine.
The UFC is really putting their neck on the line for UFC 157 and arguably has the most to lose if the historic event happens to go awry.
They've put so much time and effort in promotion this fight, making room on the roster for incoming women contenders and building up the image and championship appeal of Ronda Rousey that anything short of a perfected performance will be a failure.
At this point, all Dana White and the UFC can do is sit back and watch. They've put this card together, they've dove head first into expanding women's MMA on the biggest platform and they've told you, as a fan, it's worth buying.
We'll see if their persistent search for "the next big thing" actually pays off.
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