The UFC 157 show on February 23rd in Anaheim, California will go down as a historic moment for MMA as Liz Carmouche tries to take the 135 lb title from Ronda Rousey in the first ever women’s MMA match in UFC history. Going into the day of the fight, the line at the sports books sits with Rousey as a -1100 favorite, with the comeback on Carmouche at +700. So the fans, the betting public, the press and everyone else around the fight world has it a forgone conclusion that Carmouche has no chance.
What would be historic is for an underdog this big to come through. Despite the big ‘King’ Mo Lawal upset in Bellator where he was clobbered by a spinning back fist earlier this week, it rarely happens in MMA.
At the weigh ins Carmouche looked calm, taking it all in and happy to be there. Both women looked fit and ready to go.
First bad sign for Carmouche – Rousey is bigger in stature and length. Rousey is an athlete that likes to impose her will and dominate, and she is very athletic, so her size is a distinct advantage. Face to face, Rousey looks down on Carmouche.
Rousey applies a lot of pressure on her opponents, but Carmouche claims a strong mental game that let’s her stay focused and disciplined. Rousey too would seem to be doing well handling the pressure that is certainly on her.
Carmouche needs to withstand that first rush from Rousey and not let her get on a roll. She needs to hit her and back her up, frustrate her. Rousey has never really been backed up or hurt in her MMA career, and Carmouche just needs a couple of ‘stops’ early in the fight that get Rousey thinking. For Carmouche, the fight is either over, or it is just starting at the beginning of the second round.
Then there is the Newtonian Back Fist factor. Like Emanuel Newton with Mo Lawal, Rousey might make an error, lower her defenses and give Carmouche that opening she needs. Is it likely to happen? No. But if it did, that would be history.