UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche… Saturday 2/23

This is it, folks, the day Dana White officially eats his words about women never fighting in the UFC.  Of course, the UFC purchased Strikeforce since he said that and they already had female MMA fighters so it was really only a matter of time… Even back in August of 2012, White was hinting around about it on a special featuring Ronda Rousey.

In December Dana White held a press conference standing next to an attractive young, blonde, probably giving off a first impression to those unfamiliar with Rousey that he was introducing the next UFC ring girl.  Instead, White announced that the UFC had signed their first female fighter: “I’ve seen a lot of tough girls, but I haven’t seen a girl with the whole package until this one.”

rousey st UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche... Saturday 2/23

She actually looks lean in this pic. I saw her fight last year and she’s an animal. She usually wins by armbar in the first round so the last thing anyone wants to do is get her on the ground. Knocking her out is the only way to go and good luck with that one. About her signature move, Rousey said when she was growing up, her mother, who in 1984 was the first American to win a world judo championship ever, used to wake her up every morning with an armbar. You just can’t buy that kind of training.

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Rousey’s a controversial fighter mostly for things she does outside the octagon, like extreme trash-talking. She told a former opponent that she was going to rip off her arm with an armbar and throw it at her in her corner… then pound her face to death. Her trainer said in January that she’s a “sadistic wench.” She also posted a link on her Twitter to a Sandy Hook conspiracy site that undoubtedly upset a lot of folks who support gun control.

Her opponent Liz Carmouche is an Iraqi War veteran who served three tours.  She returned to civilian life in 2009 and credits MMA fighting with helping her to adjust. She told Sports Illustrated that she was the one who was given all the grunt jobs when on active duty as a Marine and the open sexism in the military helped her learn to persevere and fight.

liz carmouche ufc 157 UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche... Saturday 2/23

image UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche... Saturday 2/23

Although the critics are giving the match to Rousey FTW by armbar, you gotta give Carmouche credit for asking to fight after many others turned it down. Rousey gives her credit for stepping up as well: “…I have a lot of respect for Liz. She was the only one that really stepped up and said she wanted this fight right now. It speaks a lot to her.” The atmosphere surrounding this fight has been pretty civil in general in comparison to Rousey’s former match-ups where there was open animosity between the fighters. There was reportedly so much joking around during the face-off photo shoot, they were barely able to get the shot.

liz1 20022013 UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche... Saturday 2/23

 UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche... Saturday 2/23

Early ticket sales weren’t too promising in January, as only 5,000 seats were reportedly sold. But a report that came out today says the fight is now just a few hundred tickets from selling out.  The under card this time is Henderson vs. Machida. Regardless of whether the fight makes it past the first round, it should be pretty exciting. I’m rooting for Carmouche because I always side with the underdog but Rousey’s armbar is quick and lethal. Machida’s another favorite of mine so it’ll be interesting to see how it all works out.

UFC 157, Saturday 2/23/13, Honda Convention Center, Anaheim, Ca.

[Sources: LI Newsday, MMA Blog]

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