Where Does UFC 157 Rank Among 2013's UFC Fight Cards
On Saturday night, the UFC brought the thunder to the Honda Center in Anaheim with UFC 157.
All eyes were focused on UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey as she defeated Liz Carmouche in the first female contest in UFC history.
Earlier on the main card, fans were treated to some excellent finishes courtesy of Robbie Lawler and Urijah Faber, as well as an excellent display of heart as Josh Neer somehow survived the gut-wrenching attack of Court McGee until the final bell.
But in the grand scheme of things, how does UFC 157 hold up against the other UFC offerings of 2013?
Here is a power ranking of every UFC event so far in 2013. Only main card fights were taken into consideration unless the prelims were aired during the primary telecast.
5. UFC on Fuel: Barao vs. McDonald
Even in the event that this article was written eight months from now, it is likely that this fight card would still sit in last place.
There was a distinct lack of finishes on the main card, judging snafus in nearly every fight, a snoozer to open the broadcast and an injury brought an early halt to a kickboxing matchup that had promised fireworks.
The best action took place on the preliminary card when Tom Watson and Stanislav Nedkov went to war. However, the FUEL TV viewers didn't get a replay due to time restrictions based on most fights going the distance.
Highlights of this card include the main event between interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao and challenger Michael McDonald as well as a bout between James Te-Huna and Ryan Jimmo which had early excitement.
Lowlights include nearly every moment of Matt Riddle vs. Che Mills, an underwhelming showing from top prospect Gunnar Nelson and a calf injury calling a halt to Jimi Manuwa vs. Cyrille Diabate.
4. UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar
With one stoppage on the main card, it's hard to feel as if UFC 156 lived up to it's billing as a supercard.
Highlights include a close battle between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, a devastating knockout from Bigfoot Silva on Alistair Overeem and Jon Fitch being given a taste of his own medicine via Demian Maia.
Lowlights include a sleepy battle between Antonio Nogueira and Rashad Evans and a forgettable matchup between Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall.
3. UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson
When the UFC came back to Fox in 2013, they brought along with them a title fight and some excellent matchups that had title implications spanning multiple divisions.
Highlights include a five-round war for the UFC flyweight championship, a brutal knockout from Ricardo Lamas, as well as a body-shot KO from Anthony Pettis on rival Donald Cerrone.
Lowlights include a lack of finishes in the main event and co-main event, even though that feels like nitpicking on an exciting card. Seeing the final UFC performance of Rampage Jackson was a bit of a letdown too.
2. UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping
When the UFC heads to Brazil, the atmosphere is always electric.
The fans are rabid and the countrymen doing battle are eager to please them. At UFC on FX 7, there was no exception made.
In the main event, Vitor Belfort head kicked Michael Bisping into a stupor and took any title aspirations that "The Count" once had.
Highlights of this event include the main event, a brutal KO from Khabib Nurmagomedov and a heavyweight battle between Gabriel Gonzaga and Ben Rothwell.
The only fight on the main card that didn't see a finish was Daniel Sarafian vs. C.B. Dollaway, but the fight itself was good enough that I can't name it as a lowlight of the evening.
1. UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche
On a night where the UFC poured countless hours of manpower into promoting a brand new division, nothing short of excellence would be tolerated from fans.
Thankfully, UFC 157 came close enough to meeting those standards that everyone went home happy.
Although a bout between Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson has been panned by many for its lack of fireworks, the rest of the card delivered high-end entertainment.
Highlights of the night include Robbie Lawler kicking off the card with a major upset over Josh Koscheck. Court McGee and Josh Neer battled to save their jobs. Urijah Faber returned to form and choked out Ivan Menjivar. Plus, Ronda Rousey survived trouble and lived up to all of her expectations with yet another first-round armbar victory.
The biggest bonus of the main card was because of all of the extra time left on the broadcast, the UFC was able to re-air the epic Fight of the Year front-runner from Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice.