UFC 157 Superlatives: Best of the Entire Fight Card

Sean SmithAnalyst IFebruary 24, 2013

UFC 157 Superlatives: Best of the Entire Fight Card

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    MMA history was made at UFC 157 on Saturday, when UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defended her belt for the first time in the fight card's main event against Liz Carmouche.

    In addition to the groundbreaking title fight, UFC 157 saw Lyoto Machida become the light heavyweight division's top contender with a decision win over Dan Henderson. Depending on the outcome of an upcoming championship bout between the titleholder and Chael Sonnen, that could mean Machida gets a rematch with Jon Jones.

    There were many more great happenings during Saturday's fight card, so let's take a look at the best from the entire event. 

Best Fighter: Urijah Faber

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    Ronda Rousey was great against Liz Carmouche, but her victory wasn't flawless, as she was nearly caught in a neck crank by her challenger.

    Lyoto Machida picked up a win over a legend in Dan Henderson, but his performance was not overly impressive.

    Urijah Faber, meanwhile, made quick work of Ivan Menjivar, reminding everyone in the process that he's still a force to be reckoned with in the bantamweight division. 

    "The California Kid" rolled through a Menjivar throw to take the top position and took his opponent's back from a standing position after scoring with some nasty ground-and-pound. With a body triangle secured, Faber became the first fighter in more than a decade to submit Menjivar, doing it with a standing rear-naked choke.

Best Fight: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice

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    There were many great fights on the UFC 157 fight card, but none were as competitive and entertaining as a preliminary card matchup between featherweights Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice.

    Both men rocked one another at different points in the fight and combined for more than 200 significant strikes landed in the three-round bout.

    In the end, Bermudez edged Grice on the scorecards in a split decision, picking up his third straight victory.

    Rightly, Bermudez and Grice received a Fight of the Night bonus for their efforts on Saturday.

Best Moment: Ronda Rousey Armbars Liz Carmouche

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    Almost everyone predicted it would happen, but Ronda Rousey's first-round armbar of Liz Carmouche became much more impressive in following the women's bantamweight champion's scare of having the challenger on her back and cranking on her face.

    Rousey's submission win marked the end of the first female bout in UFC history. It also allowed the face of women's MMA to retain her title and keep the Ronda Rousey Show going.

    Having submitted all of her opponents with armbars in the opening stanza, it will be interesting to see how long Rousey can keep this amazing streak going.

Best Knockout: Robbie Lawler

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    As expected, Josh Koscheck looked to take Robbie Lawler to the ground early. He was successful on his first attempt, but Lawler was able to work his way back to his feet and used the fence to help him defend another takedown attempt.

    Once he gained the slightest of separation, Lawler was able to fold Koscheck with a knee and finished the fight with a series of heavy blows to the head.

    Lawler made a big statement in his UFC return and may have the potential to be a serious contender in the welterweight division moving forward.

Best Submission: Kenny Robertson

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    Kenny Robertson may have been fighting for his UFC job at UFC 157. Not only did he pick up an important win, but he also earned Submission of the Night honors with a creative leg lock in the opening round of his bout with Brock Jardine.

    After taking Jardine's back and throwing his leg in, Robertson rode high and extended his opponent's leg in a modified knee bar of sorts that forced a tap.

    In all the MMA promotions out there, it's possible a submission like this one has happened before, but Robertson was definitely the first to try it out inside the Octagon.

Best Upset: Robbie Lawler

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    Having lost three of his final four Strikeforce bouts, Robbie Lawler was not expected to be able to compete with elite UFC fighters like Josh Koscheck.

    However, Lawler appeared re-motivated by his UFC return and looked great in a knockout victory over Koscheck on the UFC 157 main card.

    Now, Lawler could be another couple big wins away from earning a surprising welterweight title shot.

Best Comeback Win: Dennis Bermudez

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    In the opening round of his appearance at UFC 157, Dennis Bermudez was rocked by Matt Grice.

    However, Bermudez battled back in a bout that will surely be considered one of the best of 2013. At the end of three rounds, Bermudez had done enough to earn back an edge on two of the three judges' scorecards.

    Bermudez is now riding a three-fight winning streak and could have a big step up in competition coming his way.

Best UFC Rookie: Ronda Rousey

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    Ronda Rousey's UFC debut was not flawless, but it was a major success.

    The women's bantamweight champion persevered through some rare adversity to lock up yet another armbar submission.

    If Rousey keeps winning and dominating like she has been, she'll cement herself as one of the most popular fighters in the sport, whether it be male or female competitors.