UFC 157: Fighters Who Will Benefit Most from Strong Performances Saturday Night

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2013

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

Ronda Rousey will become one of the most popular athletes in the world after Saturday night at UFC 157.

Rousey will take on Liz Carmouche in what is a rather historic fight for the Women's Bantamweight Title. UFC President Dana White had long stood by his stance that no women would ever get inside the Octagon.

Of course it was Rousey who made White do a total 180. While marketable because of her good looks, the champion has built herself quite a resume as a submission machine. Rousey has won all of her previous six fights via armbar submission, with none of the fights getting past the first round.

The pay-per-view is all set for Rousey to take her place among the elite fighters of UFC, and with another dominating win, she'll see her star power grow to enormous levels.

Rousey-Carmouche isn't the only fight on the card, so there are plenty of other fighters who can stand out on Saturday's PPV.


Dan Henderson

It's been quite a while since Dan Henderson found himself in the Octagon. It's been a little over a year since his win over Mauricio Rua at UFC 139. Henderson was supposed to fight Jon Jones at UFC 145 but pulled out with a knee injury. His fight with Lyoto Machida was also slated for UFC 156 but instead moved to later in the month.

Henderson-Machida is a fight well worth the wait, though.

There's a ton on the line tonight. The winner if this fight will put himself in pole position for a shot against the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

Machida is extremely elusive in the Octagon, but Henderson is extremely tough. He'll be able to withstand the Brazilian's best and deliver a knockout blow.


Brendan Schaub

Brendan Schaub finds himself in the middle of the pack when it comes to the Heavyweight Division. He's far from being worthy of earning a title shot. Schaub's best chance previously to work up the rankings was a fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, which lost via first-round knockout. He followed that up with a first-round knockout to Ben Rothwell.

The 29-year-old now finds himself with a tall mountain to climb. It's one, though, that has a relatively easy beginning in the form of Lavar Johnson, who is only 2-1 since making the move to UFC.

Schaub needs to keep this fight on the ground. If he can do that, he's got a great chance at picking up the win.


Court McGee

Court McGee has struggled a bit since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2010. He won his next two fights but is currently riding a two-fight losing streak. His problems in the Octagon caused him to drop to Middleweight to Welterweight.

McGee should be able to get back in the win column after tonight. Josh Neer is very good on the ground, so McGee will be advised to keep the fight off the mat. Should that happen, McGee will be much more in his comfort zone having been a professional boxer while maintaining his mixed martial arts career.

It would be a huge statement for McGee to make the step down to Welterweight and win his first fight.