For a brief moment on Saturday night, underdog Liz Carmouche nearly shocked the world with her early standing rear naked choke attempt on champ Ronda Rousey.
Using virtually the same attack that gave bantamweight Urijah Faber a submission win over Ivan Menjivar earlier in the night, Carmouche cranked hard on Rousey's face, but was unable to get the tap. Eventually going down via first round armbar, there were a few reasons why Carmouche failed to capture the title at UFC 157.
From the start of the fight, Carmouche should have looked to keep her distance and avoid getting into a clinch against the cage. Rousey covered the canvas pretty quickly though, using her jab to get her opponent to back herself up against the cage.
From there, Carmouche showed some good take down defense, but the former Olympic bronze medalist in judo was relentless with her sweep attempts and eventually got the fight to the ground. Carmouche did a great job at escaping, pushing off the fence to get some space before taking Rousey's back and going for the choke.
Carmouche's shining moment in the fight had its technical issues though. From a strategy stand point, "Girl-Rilla" should have tried to get her back against the cage as it would have been harder for Rousey to shake her off.
The former Marine also underestimated Rousey's tenacity and ability to withstand the pain of the face crank. Carmouche would have had better luck if she fought for a standard rear naked choke. While inflicting less pain, technically, it would have been harder to escape from.
Where things went really wrong for Carmouche was when Rousey got side control again.
The champ kept a great base and showed a much improved ground-and-pound, making it very difficult for the challenger to escape from this time around.
Carmouche should have tried to shrimp out more, allowing her to go for the back again. Granted, she was further away from the cage and could not kick off the fence when they were in the same position earlier in the fight.
When facing someone as skilled and dangerous as Rousey, you have to execute your game plan perfectly because the former Olympian will capitalize on even the smallest mistake. This tiny opening occured when Carmouche tried for an inverted triangle choke in the waning seconds of the rounds.
The atempt opened her up to Rousey getting the mount, putting her in prime position to go for the armbar. Carmouche even defended properly, but when its a person's whole body weight versus the strength of the defenders arms, a patient attacker like the champ will win out in the end.
Overall, Carmouche fought a great fight but Rousey capitalized on the challenger's small mistakes.