The main event of UFC 157 delivered on Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., providing fans with some serious excitement in the first ladies' fight ever to grace the Octagon. Liz Carmouche and Ronda Rousey went toe-to-toe for just shy of five minutes, and produced fireworks the entire time.
In so doing, the fight proved a lot to plenty of people, leaving the MMA community with plenty to take away from the bout.
It's probably not earth-shattering to realize that a former Marine, fearless flag bearer for the gay community and professional MMA fighter is for real, but perhaps not everyone realized the extent of it until UFC 157.
Carmouche came out and took the fight to Ronda Rousey in a way that no one had before, taking her back and very nearly snatching her title away before it ever found a way around her waist.
Most people ignored the things about Carmouche that identified her a serious challenger going into the fight, electing to focus on the beauty and skill of Rousey instead. If they knew then what they know now, that probably wouldn't have been the case.
For the first time in her career, Rousey was in trouble against Carmouche. The result? Rousey by (eventual) armbar. What else.
For anyone who wondered what the champion was made of, they got their answer in Anaheim. She stuck it out when things got tough, bided her time and then finished when the chance presented itself.
She's more than a pretty face.
Even so, Rousey still has some work to do.
There's going to come a time when she's in the cage with someone who's able to stop an armbar, who's able to avoid the clinch and who can't be overpowered easily.
Rousey's boxing sure isn't going to be her saviour, and the longer she's blazing trails in MMA, the more women with athletic gifts comparable to her own she's going to inspire into the sport. People are already clamouring to see her in there against the only other Olympic-calibre female out there, and it's because skill for skill it looks like a real fight on paper.
Ronda Rousey is very good, and will be for a long time. But she's still a work in progress, and being aware of that is important to everyone involved.
If it does it right, the UFC has a winner on its hands in women's MMA. Anyone who has followed that leg of the sport for any amount of time knows that the fights are exciting, the girls continue to get better and you'll never be cheated paying money to watch.
Given the atmosphere in the arena and the anticipation for the main event at 157, it's safe to say the world is ready for women's MMA on a grand stage. As long as the UFC doesn't confirm the fears of many that the 135ers are simply a playground for Rousey and her highly sellable persona, it's got something special here.