Rousey vs. Carmouche: Rowdy's Struggles Show Blueprint for Future Opponents

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIFebruary 24, 2013

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 23:  Ronda Rousey fights Liz Carmouche during their UFC Bantamweight Title bout at Honda Center on February 23, 2013 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Not many of us gave Liz Carmouche a shot to beat Ronda Rousey at UFC 157. She certainly made things interesting, though, for the current UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

Rousey claimed her seventh straight first-round MMA armbar victory over Carmouche as the first round was coming to a close.

But if there is anything that we take away from this is that while she is tough as nails, Rousey still has a ways to go. Sure, her competition isn’t as refined as we’re expecting her to be, but she’ll come across an opponent eventually that will be strong enough to finish her once in the position Carmouche was in on Saturday night.

Just one minute into the bout, Carmouche hopped on the champ’s back and locked on a face crank that nearly left her breathless on the mat.

Ultimately she was able to escape, but we possibly just saw the lone weakness in Rousey’s otherwise impeccable technique.

She was locked in, entirely, on getting a hold of Carmouche’s arm and submitting her via armbar. This isn’t anything new, as her opponent clearly planned and strategized around that approach.

So far she has claimed seven victims with that submission, but will it be able to continue to carry her to stardom once an opponent who can finish the job comes along?

Carmouche struggled with her counters, but did a good job early on at fighting off Rousey’s efforts by advancing with attempts of her own.

Rousey’s aggressiveness and strength ultimately helped keep her UFC main event debut from going poorly. It was a lot closer, and scarier, than she probably imagined prior to the bell being rung.

Before the bout, we knew what Carmouche must do to shock Rousey and walk away the champ. What we didn’t know, though, was just how close the two were as competitors.

The talent gap is going to continually get smaller and smaller in the UFC as more challengers become available. Dana White will surely bring the best of the best to the table for his new and historic champion.

It will be interesting to see who steps up and how they learn from Carmouche’s near-upset over Rousey at UFC 157.