With all the attention being paid to UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in lead-up to UFC 157 on Saturday night, challenger Liz Carmouche is flying well below the radar. But that's good news for her.
Who wants all that pressure anyway?
With this weekend's main event just hours away, here we'll break down Girl-Zilla's game plan for success against the champion at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif.
Keep the Fight Standing
If Carmouche can stay on her feet Saturday night, and avoid being taken to the ground early, she'll have a great chance to spring the upset on Rousey. After all, five of Carmouche's eight professional wins have come via knockout, and three of her last four victories overall.
Plus, the threat of a Rousey armbar is much less significant if both fighters are on their feet.
Of course keeping the fight standing is easier said than done, as Rousey will be looking to end things early with her patented submission. But if Carmouche is truly worthy of holding the belt, she be able to fend off Rousey's takedown attempts. Otherwise, most would agree that this fight isn't going to last very long.
Carmouche is much more effective on her feet, where she'll be able to keep Rousey at a distance so she can utilize her superior striking skills.
Survive the First Round
Getting the fight to a second round won't guarantee victory for Carmouche, but it will allow some doubt to creep into her opponent's mind. Rousey has never had to fight in the second round in any of her six professional victories.
On the other hand, eight of Carmouche's 10 fights have required a second round. She's 6-2 in those fights.
Clearly the experience edge will lay with Girl-Zilla if Saturday's main event makes it to the second round. She's been there before while Rousey hasn't. Not that the second round features any more challenges than the first, but Rousey has yet to show another dimension inside the Octagon.
If she can't land an armbar sometime in the first five minutes, then the momentum will rest in Carmouche's corner the rest of the way.
That's not to say that Rousey can't win a grueling, hard-fought match, but that if that's indeed what we get on Saturday, then Carmouche has to be favored as a more experienced mixed martial artist with more fights and time spent in the Octagon under her belt.
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