According to BestFightOdds, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey opened as a -1500 betting favorite against her UFC 157 challenger Liz Carmouche, who opened at +700. Since then, the odds have leveled out somewhat; SportBet currently has the line at a more reasonable -1110/+690, which means that you’d need to put up $1,110 in order to turn a $100 profit on Ronda if she wins, while betting $100 on Liz would…you know what, I’m not even going to finish that sentence. Please do not bet money on this fight.
The current odds make Rousey vs. Carmouche rank among the most lopsided UFC matchups of all time, which comes as no surprise — before the booking was announced, many UFC fans may not have even been aware of the existence of Liz Carmouche, who is an unknown quantity to everyone except hardcore fans of women’s MMA and Strikeforce. Plus, Carmouche fell short both times she faced champion-level competition, suffering a decision loss to Sarah Kaufman in July 2011 and a submission loss to Marloes Coenen four months prior, although Carmouche was winning that fight until she was stopped.
None of Rousey’s previous matches have turned out to be very competitive, and it’s hard to imagine that this one will be any different. (If Liz gets armbarred in the second round as opposed to the first round, she should immediately be ranked the #2 women’s bantamweight in the world.) Is that necessarily a bad thing? A string of highlight-reel finishes from a charismatic champion can go a long way in drawing casual fans to women’s MMA. Think of it this way: Mike Tyson became famous by rolling over outmatched palookas, not by clawing out victories in gritty 12-round wars — and converted hordes of young people to boxing fandom in the process.
Not that we’re calling Ronda Rousey the Mike Tyson of women’s MMA (at least not yet). But maybe a good squash match is just what the sport needs right now.