Rousey vs. Carmouche: Women’s championship expected to make UFC, MMA history
On Saturday February 23, the Ultimate Fighting Championship looks to make history with its first ever fight in the women’s division. Former Strikeforce, and now interim UFC women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey is set to take on Liz Carmouche for the Bantamweight Title at UFC 157.
Rousey comes from an extensive Judo background winning, a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games representing the United States, as well as a silver medal in the Pan American Judo Championships in 2006. Rousey holds an undefeated (6-0) mixed martial arts record. Perhaps more impressive than her record and list of accomplishments is the fact that she’s won every fight in the first round by using, what is now her signature, the armbar submission, with victories over notable fighters such as Sarah Kaufman (15-2) and Miesha Tate(13-3).
Carmouche comes from a different, more “freestyle” fighting background. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2004-2009, she decided to take that discipline to the world of MMA. With a professional record of (7-2) Carmouche is more than capable of defeating Rousey, considering her last loss was against then Strikeforce Champion Kaufman, a fight that most would argue Carmouche dominated.
With majority of Carmouche’s victories coming from TKOs, as well as submission, she definitely lives up to the nickname of “Girlrilla”. One of Carmouche’s biggest strengths is her strength. Carmouche tends to overpower opponents with slams and takedowns as well as deadly striking. On the ground, she has shown in previous fights that she can get to the dangerous full-mount position and then showcase her ground and pound skills. However, I think this will be a much tougher task against the technician Rousey, who has shown that she can sink in an armbar from almost any position as well as hold her own with ground and pounding. I think Carmouche should keep the fight standing, avoid the clinch and keep her distance by striking to feel Rousey out and then possibly try to take her down. Carmouche should look to use the “lay & prey” style, similar to a Clay Guida, to give her the best chance at winning. If she gets too wild with her punches, Rousey will be looking for the armbar. If Rousey pushes the pace in this fight and gets it to the ground early, I think Carmouche could be in trouble, as she hasn’t always shown the best defense when on her back.
All in all, we are in for an exciting fight this Saturday, and if the fight is kept standing for too long, then it could go either way. Although Rousey should come away with either a decision or submission victory. This is great inaugural fight for the women’s division and one that is sure to make UFC and MMA history.
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