Liz Carmouche proved her worth against Ronda Rousey in the main event of UFC 157.
"The Girlilla" held her own on the ground, took Rousey's back and threatened to end the fight with a vicious head crank and avoided Rousey's fabled armbar.
...At least, she did all this for four minutes and 49 seconds.
Carmouche, for all her successes in that one action-packed round, suffered the same fate as Rousey's previous six opponents, and she succumbed to the dreaded armbar within the first frame.
Thanks to her near-derailment of the Rousey hype train, though, Carmouche won over critics and fans with her inspired performance. The crowd cheered her mightily in her post-fight interview, and rightly so—that fight was awesome.
Still, a loss is a loss, and Carmouche failed to capitalize on the greatest opportunity life ever threw her way.
What's next for her moving forward?
I hate to do this to you guys, but it's impossible to tell at the moment.
The UFC has just one other women's fight confirmed at the moment, a TUF 17 finale fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano.
Tate and Rousey have quite the history, and if Tate can defeat Zingano, one can almost guarantee the UFC will scramble to arrange Rousey vs. Tate II.
That said, the UFC is currently rounding out its women's bantamweight roster quite nicely, and with fighters like Alexis Davis and Sara McMann under contract, Carmouche will find a worthy opponent sooner than later.
As of now, the loser of Tate vs. Zingano is the only fight that makes sense for The Girlilla, but she could reasonably take on a number of other winners/losers of future matchups, once they are announced, of course.
It's fun to play matchmaker, but with just one fight announced for the future of women's MMA inside the Octagon, I cannot reasonably predict Carmouche's next opponent.
Whoever it is though—Tate, Zingano, or anybody else—you better believe I will anxiously tune in.
Even in defeat, Carmouche elevated her stock in my eyes, and I cannot wait to see her back inside the cage.
For fans of MMA, heavy metal or general absurdity, Follow @HunterAHomistek.