Given another shot, Liz Carmouche might be able to beat Ronda Rousey.
Dana White has put all of his eggs in the Rousey basket for his new women’s bantamweight division. That doesn’t mean she will succeed as a lengthy champion, despite being the inaugural title holder.
Who better to get another shot at her down the road if she can keep her title than the woman who nearly put a hamper on her coming out party in Anaheim?
Carmouche’s efforts at UFC 157 proved that Rousey is susceptible to a well-executed counterattack. She fought hard, repeatedly resisting Rousey’s attempts to submit her on her way to her first title defense.
It isn’t easy, though, because the champ has her own ideas of what should happen when both women are on the mat. Her eighth-straight first-round armbar submission MMA victory supports that.
Nearly submitting the champ doesn’t count as a win, by any means, but it was a sign that maybe Rousey is able to be beaten after all. Upon coming into the promotion, she looked invincible.
Was her near-tapout a testament to Carmouche’s resilience and own talents or a sign that Rousey may be more hype than substance?
The former seems more likely.
Had she held on for a mere moment longer, the pale-faced champion may have ceded from a loss of oxygen. She looked shocked, scared and confused but somehow fought her way out of it.
Next time, she might not be so lucky.
That’s why we need to see this rematch. We have to make sure this wasn’t a fluke and that the promotion’s biggest new star is ready for the eventual challenges from an up-and-coming women’s UFC division.
Besides, it’s not like there are challengers lined up and down the street for their shots at Rousey.
Carmouche was the only one willing to step into the Octagon with Rousey, according to UFC president Dana White (via Yahoo! Sports’ MMA Weekly).
Maybe this glimpse at vulnerability will encourage others to step up to the plate. But we’d like to see the former Marine give it another shot.
Who knows—maybe she’ll walk away with the title. That could set up a long-standing rivalry, like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture and all of those who helped shape the men’s division during its infancy.