The upcoming UFC event has certainly been getting peoples views and opinions active as of late. UFC 157 sees newly-crowned UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey take on Liz Carmouche in the PPV’s Main Event. Now, I have looked at many forums, blogs, websites comment sections to see what views the public have on this fight taking place in a UFC Octagon, and it makes for interesting and sometimes infuriating reading. Statements like “This shows the UFC is going downhill”, “If this is Main Event above Hendo and Machida then I’m not watching the UFC ever again!”, “Women don’t belong in MMA, let alone the Octagon!”. These are to name but a few.
This narrow-minded view of WMMA aside, I personally believe this fight belongs in the UFC Main Event. Not only because it’s a Championship fight, which always headlines a UFC PPV, but also because this is History in the Making
. Never has a Female fought in a UFC Octagon, and we get to see it…not only with the biggest hype-machine since Gina Carano (in Ronda Rousey), but against a formidable opponent who poses more of a threat than the casual MMA fan realises…I of course mean Liz Carmouche.
The “Girl-Rilla” has flown under the radar, landing herself on a UFC PPV Main event, gearing up for a fight she says she’s been training a year for.
What does “Girl-Rilla” bring to the table?
She brings a Pro MMA Record of 8 wins and 2 losses, with 3 submissions and 5 TKO’s. One loss coming in as a late replacement against a Top 5 Pound-for-Pound WMMA fighter in Marloes Coenen at Strikeforce - Feijao vs. Henderson. Controlling much of the fight to the surprise of the crowd, before succumbing to a Triangle midway through the 4th round. In defeat Carmouche put the WMMA world on notice.
Carmouche fires her stand up with bad intentions, has good scrambles and decent takedown defence when clinched against the cage, best shown in her last fight at Invicta 2 against Kaitlin Young. Kailtin attempted to dictate the pace against the cage to nullify Carmouche’s heavy hands. Before a beautiful Judo throw landed Carmouche in her guard to close the first round. The second round opened with Carmouche showing off crisp kicks, decent hands and good head movement before dragging the fight to the ground and controlling the action with some heavy Ground and Pound. Later securing the back and showing off her ground game with a Rear Naked Choke.
This example, among many, best illustrate why Carmouche is more of a threat to the Poster-Girl of WMMA than she’s being given credit for.
What can Liz do to secure victory? This is only my opinion, I am no Greg Jackson-esque maestro of MMA game planning. Liz needs to keep away from the cage and circle away from Ronda’s attempts to clinch up and control Liz’s bodyweight. Liz needs to fire straight hands, I truly believe Ronda has not been hit as hard as Carmouche is capable of hitting her, and Rousey will quickly realise that. As long as Liz can circle and avoid being clinched she can wear Rousey down at a distance, firing leg kicks as the action goes on longer. Maybe opening the action to swing in her favour and unleash her hands and kicks.
Carmouche has cardio for days, I’m sure Rousey will have too, but I’m interested to see how Ronda responds at having to fight later than the 1st round, and having to use that extra cardio…knowing her gameplan for her previous fights have not gone her way. Can she adapt? Will she grow frustrated? Will she end up questioning her power, skill, and technique? Causing her to make foolish mistakes and deviate away from what she set out to do?
UFC 157 will prove to be gut-check time for Ronda Rousey.
Rousey has a lot of attention on her…too much? To be leading WMMA onto the biggest platform in the world for Mixed Martial Arts is daunting for any fighter, for any human being. If she doesn’t follow her previous example, of being a 1st round submission machine, and lose her belt to Carmouche would the MMA world still look at her the same? Treat her the same?
Liz is hard-nosed enough, determined enough, and imposing enough to pull off a stunner of an upset. And I am picking her to do so.
But if Carmouche leaves UFC 157 the UFC Womens Bantamweight Champion…I hope the UFC continue their dedication to having Women fight in the UFC. As we all know, and probably believe, Dana expects and wants the marketable Rousey to hold onto her Championship Gold.
Pick: Liz Carmouche…4th or 5th Round TKO….and your new UFC Womens Bantamweight Champion of the World.