Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche : 5 Questions We Have About Carmouche
Questions surround No. 1 contender Liz Carmouche tonight, as she readies to fight for the UFC women's championship at UFC 157.
Carmouche, a listed 7-to-1 underdog, is only given a puncher's chance by many in tonight's first female fight in UFC history.
Her abilities and success are both overshadowed by Ronda Rousey's. Rousey, an Olympic bronze medalist in judo and the first UFC women's champion, has won all six of her professional MMA bouts in the first round via armbar. That's a large reason why she's a 14-to-1 favorite heading into the bout.
Carmouche is one of the biggest underdogs to ever fight for a title in the UFC, and heading into tonight's historic main event, here are five questions we have for the challenger.
Can She Avoid the Takedown?
Defending the takedown is a must for Carmouche.
As mentioned in the intro, Rousey is a high-level grappler that can probably take any fight she wants to on the ground.
This will more than likely be her game plan heading into this bout against Carmouche. Carmouche's best way of winning this fight is to keep it standing and rock Rousey with some shots on the feet.
It's up to Carmouche to defend them though and keep the fight on the feet, where she can try to score her sixth career knockout victory.
Space is key for Carmouche. She must not allow Rousey to get in close and clinch her. For if she does, the fight will hit the mat, where Rousey wins 100 percent of her fights.
Can She Survive on the Ground?
Let's not be naive—Chances are Rousey will get this fight to the mat.
Her Olympic credentials imply it. So what will Carmouche do once the fight hits the ground? It's sink or swim time.
Everyone is expecting Rousey to go for it once the fight hits the ground, but Carmouche likely drilled armbar escapes in her sleep heading up to this bout.
Still evading the maneuver in practice and stopping Rousey on fight night are two completely different ordeals.
No opponent has been able to escape the first round without losing by armbar to Rousey, so Carmouche needs to prolong Rousey's takedown as long as possible. However, once the fight hits the mat, it's all about survival for Carmouche.
Will She Be Wild?
Unpredictability may be Carmouche's greatest weapon in this fight.
It's tough to fight someone who's next move is not incalculable. Just ask Jon Jones' opponents.
Let's just be real for a minute—Carmouche is not supposed to win this fight. Rousey is expected to run through her and win this fight in convincing fashion.
So Carmouche has nothing to lose. She can only gain from this high-profiled main event, and that's why throwing wild strikes like she has in the past may work well in her favor.
Her chances of winning may increase if she throws wild techniques. However, the spotlight and fear of being taken down may cause Carmouche to hesitate on pulling the trigger.
Can She Make It to the Second Round?
Carmouche needs to test Rousey's cardio.
In order to do that, Carmouche needs to do what no other opponent of Rousey's has been able to do yet—make it out of the first round.
Fighters with great cardio tend to try and drag their opponents into deeper water by entering the later rounds of the fight.
They drag them into deep water, and as their endurance diminishes, they drown them with a furious pace late in the fight.
This is something that Carmouche would obviously like to do. But getting it to the second round will be no easy feat. Can Carmouche weather the early storm and prolong this championship bout?
Can She Pull off the Upset?
This could go down as the greatest upset in UFC history.
Think about it. Rousey is the UFC's newest superstar. She's had feature stories done on her by just about every major sports media outlet there is, including ESPN and HBO.
With both her beauty and all-around toughness, she's brought a whole new audience to the table for the UFC. Heck, for the first time my girlfriend is excited to watch a fight with me.
Fans are tuning into UFC 157 to see what all the ruckus about Rousey is, and Carmouche can leave their jaws hanging by the end of the event.
Hardly anyone is considering a Carmouche upset as a real possibility tonight. But then again, not many believed Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal could actually lose to Emmanuel Newton at Bellator 90 last Thursday night. Anything can happen in MMA.