In what was once deemed impossible by UFC President Dana White, Ronda Rousey proved that women do have a place in a main event of a major card. In UFC 157, Rousey made history by forcing Liz Carmouche to tap out in the first ever women’s bout in the UFC. In what was a closer contest than many expected, Rousey forced the submission with 11 seconds remaining in the first round.
But it was not easy.
Carmouche entered the fight as a 12-1 underdog, although she tested Rousey more than anyone other of her opponents. Early on, Carmouche actually gained the upper hand by nearly clasping a rear naked choke hold on Rousey after she got on top of the champ’s back. Unable to completely lock her arm around Rousey’s neck, Carmouche was unable to complete the maneuver.
“That [hold] is hard to pull off,” Carmouche told reporters after the loss that sent her overall record to 7-3. “If a person has a lot of heart, they can fight through it like she did. She was successful. I got teeth marks from getting (the hold) down to her mouth and thinking, ‘Maybe I can get her to tap by knocking her teeth out.’ That didn’t quite work out.”
Still, Carmouche deserves a lot of credit. With all of the attention and hype surrounding the fight being centered around the champ, Carmouche came to play.
“It was a great fight,” Carmouche said. “I thought I had it. Like everything, you make a mistake, and it turns around.”
And it certainly did turn around against the Iraqi war veteran who served three tours. While she did prove that there may be a bit more of a vulnerability against Rousey than anyone had believed prior to their fight, Carmouche was unable to pull off the major upset.
After breaking out of the attempted rear naked choke hold, Rousey fought back to finish off this fight just like she had ended her first six professional fights. Rowdy Rousey successfully defended her championship by forcing Carmouche to tap out due to an armbar that has dislocated at least two of her opponents’ elbows.
“I was saying, ‘No way am I going down,'” Rousey said of escaping the rear-naked choke. “That’s one thing I had to learn in MMA is to take my time. I had to learn to take my time in judo, and I was just able to keep a clear head.”
Last night was a historical night in UFC, and the evening did not disappoint. Rousey retained her title, but Carmouche put up a heck of a fight. This match will go a long ways in paving the road for more women’s bouts in UFC. And, for the next challenger to Rousey’s championship, she has but one simple message.
“There is no amount of press that can save these girls from me,” Rousey said after tapping out Carmouche.
Best of luck to whomever decides to brave the Octagon next against the hottest fighter going in all of UFC.