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BREAKING: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche Confirmed for UFC 157 Main Event

(Visual proof of this whole “lady UFC champion” thing, via @MikeChiappetta)

During a UFC on FOX 5 press conference held earlier today in Seattle, UFC president Dana White presented Ronda Rousey with her new bantamweight championship belt — then announced that she’d be defending it against Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157, February 23rd at the Honda Center in Anaheim. As MMAFighting writes:

While it wasn’t the hoped-for matchup with Cris Cyborg, White promised that matchup with Rousey would come next as long as she emerged from UFC 157 victorious. ”That was obviously the fight we wanted to make at 135 pounds,” White said. “We worked hard to make that fight. I believe that this fight will happen and I truly believe the next fight will be the Cyborg one.” [Ed. note: Not that Dana doesn't have the utmost confidence in you, Liz.]

A five-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Carmouche’s career MMA record stands at 7-2, with both losses coming last year, in back-to-back Strikeforce matches against Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman. Carmouche rebounded impressively this year, scoring stoppage wins over Ashleigh Curry and Caitlin Young under the Invicta banner.

Though she’s been publicly angling for a matchup with Rousey in recent weeks, Liz Carmouche is one of the last people you’d expect to be headlining a UFC pay-per-view card in early 2013. But as is often the case with UFC title fights lately, the booking was motivated by a lack of options. Said White:

Let me put it to you this way,” he said. “You ask me these questions and I tell you truth. A lot of people don’t like the truth when I say it but that’s who wanted to fight her. People aren’t kicking the doors down at Zuffa to fight her.”

Rousey added: ”I can’t make these girls fight me when I want them to fight me. I got a lot of respect for Liz. She’s the only one that really stepped up and said she really wanted this fight right now. That speaks a lot towards her. When the other girls come around and actually want to come to the big show, they know where I’m at.”

Kudos to the UFC for being committed to its women’s MMA experiment — and not burying its inaugural women’s fight in the co-main event spot of a FUEL card — but it’s a risky move, especially when one of the fighters involved is a relative unknown to casual fans. All the UFC can do is hope that Rousey vs. Carmouche turns out to be a thrilling war that turns more fans onto women’s MMA — or at least ends in a violent stoppage that they can show on SportsCenter.

Worst case scenario? Carmouche wins in a slow five-rounder. Obviously, that would still be a pretty solid outcome for Liz, but if it goes down like that, you can expect the UFC to suddenly lose interest in promoting women — which, let’s face it, was only about one specific woman all along, and the potential superfight that will be a lot more profitable than this one.

Cagepotato Comments

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dipsetkilla316- December 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Great contribution to the discussion coldpissbeer
teep- December 7, 2012 at 9:54 am
Two people in this photo look like they have afterglow.
ArmFarmer- December 7, 2012 at 6:21 am
All last year I complained about shitty, not worth the money, watered down cards. Way to silence my complaints with a women's mma squash match as a MAIN EVENT. Yeah I'm really compelled to shell out 50 bucks to see the same fight I've seen 6 times already in a division that barely exists. This better have the most stacked supporting card known to man or I won't even livestream it for free.
guelph gym- December 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm
wow another fake champion i use to watch wrestling when i was a kid the ufc is starting to go the same route what im finding odd is that everyone wants gsp to fight silva at a catch wieht but everyone wants cyborg to come to 135 if rosseys as good as she says she is why not a catch weight fight with cyborg and if you pay for this card your as high as dana
crappiefloper- December 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm
lets hope RR losses in absolutly uneventfull fashion. boring,painfully slow 5 round decision. then DW can have gotten his piece because he did what she asked, got a main event in the ufc. DW then takes zuffas filthy hands off of womens mma. i have faith in invicta fc. leave it alone and watch it grow.
HEY- December 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Can't believe Guyborg wasn't willing to sacrifice his twenty pound sausage and eggs biscuit to make weight and be a part of this.
coldbeer78- December 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm
Holy sheepshit. Look at dipsets comment. It made total sense! Black has now become white, up has become down, etc...
aaronb- December 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm
Was Sherri Martel not available?
thebusiness- December 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm
Hm, as usual I think some things were exaggerated for sensationalism's sake. They make it sound like all the "other girls" ran off scared into the desert. Alexis Davis called out Ronda Rousey recently on YouTube, and I can't picture McMann declining either (unless her injury is still lingering). I like Liz and wish her all the best, but I hope Ronda defeats her and takes on the 'Borg. Ronda mean. Cyborg angry.
Madson- December 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm
Carmouche should let her arms home the night of the fight
Mr_Misanthropy- December 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm
Dana1 Dana! Over here- third row! How long until we can see the inception of the transgender drag queen division? Talk about fights that would make some money!
dipsetkilla316- December 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm
I just can't talk shit about her, she has six wins, all armbars, all in the first round. I mean come on how could you say she doesn't deserve it.
Darkside- December 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm
@ Fried Taco

"Ooh-rah!" FYI... :)
Fried Taco- December 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm
Bendo looks like he is thinking "I had to take a lot of beatings to get this belt, and all she had to do was lay down with a few arms between her legs..."
Fried Taco- December 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm