History will be made Saturday night when Ronda Rousey defends her UFC bantamweight title against Liz Carmouche in the first-ever female fight inside the Octagon at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche. The card takes place on pay-per-view from Anaheim’s Honda Center.
Rousey, the former Strikeforce women’s champion, is a perfect 6-0 in her career. Carmouche is a veteran of the military, and the first gay or lesbian fighter in the UFC.
Also, light heavyweights Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida square off in a No. 1 contender bout.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Liz Carmouche for the UFC bantamweight title
Dana: This is, truly, all about Ronda Rousey. She is the star, the money-maker and the reason females are fighting in the UFC. Of course, that also means all of the pressure in the world is on her shoulders, but, being a former Olympian, my guess is she can handle it. I truly felt myself becoming a fan of Liz Carmouche during the recent UFC Primetime episodes, and hope she can give Rousey a challenge. However, the confident-yet-cocky champion appears determined. Ronda Rousey via second round submission (armbar)
Joseph: After almost 20 years, females get their first chance inside the Octagon. That alone is a huge accomplishment and the UFC has done a great job selling WMMA as they made me a fan. The question everybody wants to know is if Liz Carmouche can avoid Ronda Rousey’s armbar. After nine first round wins with that submission, expect Rousey to go for it and Carmouche to be well-prepared. For Rousey to win, she needs something else out of her arsenal. This feels like a freebee for Rousey as the UFC continues to introduce a new dynamic to the sport. While Rousey is more talented, both leave as winners. Rousey exits as champion and Carmouche as a proud LGBT member who just made some serious cash. Ronda Rousey via first round KO (strikes)
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Dana: This is a bout I am looking forward to, as the elusive Lyoto Machida takes on the one-punch power of Dan Henderson. That overhand right has likely been Machida’s biggest training obstacle, but you cannot simulate Henderson in practice. The year-plus off that “Hendo” has gone through could play an issue, but he is a veteran and been through lengthy delays before. Look for Machida to be patient and await an opening to strike. Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision
Joseph: There’s a lot riding on this light heavyweight bout. While a top spot in the division is there, each fighter has more personally invested in this one. The Lyoto Machida era is over as he’s struggled to secure wins after taking the title. The puzzle, that was “The Dragon,” seems to have been solved. Dan Henderson comes into this one at 42-years-old and has stated he has about four fights left in the tank. While Henderson has dangerous hands that can end a fight in an instant, Machida has good defense as he’s able to avoid punishment. I think that Machida is basically done as his karate style doesn’t standout anymore with more modern fighters. Dan Henderson via third round TKO (strikes)