Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche to Headline UFC 157

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Photo via Ronda Rousey’s Official MMA Site

by Dr. Octagon, J.D.

Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche will reportedly headline the UFC 157 Pay Per View Card on February 23rd in Anaheim. Fuck that.

Let me start off by saying that I have absolutely nothing against female fighters. I’ve covered both female boxing and female MMA, and sometimes the fights are really great. The women’s fight was the best fight on the card for the last Bellator and Ronda’s fight against Miesha Tate was really exciting. Ronda against Cris Cyborg I could see as a Pay Per View main event, but Liz Carmouche does not have the name recognition that Mrs. Cyborg has.

Carmouche’s last two fights have been wins on the untelevised Invicta promotion. Before that, she had lost two fights against solid top-10 fighters Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman. This is not the sort of resume that would lead to a title shot. I bitch about pay per view cards all the time, and end up buying them anyway. So I’m probably going to buy this one too, but this card is going to have to be really stacked to get the average fight fan to for over their cash.

The UFC is spreading itself too thin. There are three more events this month! It’s great that there’s bloodsport on all the time and everything, but I don’t want to feel like I just got mugged after I buy a pay per view. Anderson Silva vs. Stefan Bonnar was a fill-in.  Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen is silly, but at least people know who they are. The UFC 157 main event is probably going to have the longest odds in the history of the UFC. The only question is whether Ronda is going to rip this chick’s arm off in less than a minute or not. 

I understand that this is MMA and anything can happen, but what is likely going to happen is that Ronda is going to walk through two punches, and lock in an armbar. It doesn’t matter what happens in the fight anyway. What really matters is what people are expecting, and if people are not expecting a competitive fight, the matchmakers aren’t doing their jobs.

What the fuck is UFC boss Dana White thinking? Ronda has a ton of star power right now and they’re trying to capitalize on that. There really isn’t anyone in the women’s division on the same level as Ronda other than Cyborg. She has already fought Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate, who were both considered to be top contenders, and ripped both their arms off in the first round. So you could argue that no matter who they put her in with, the end result is probably going to be the same.

Besides, of the few girls that could fight her, it seems like a lot of them don’t want any part of Rousey. Sort of like Jon Jones. If someone isn’t getting a full camp and has no better option, they don’t even want a shot at Jones’ title. Every time one of his opponents goes down, there’s a laundry list of light heavyweight contenders that don’t want to fight Jones. So part of Rousey’s problem is that.

The other part is the UFC probably wants to build up for the eventual Cyborg fight, once Cyborg has finally worked off a few of her steroidal man-muscles. In the meantime, they have to get Rousey in front of some people first. I just hope they don’t make UFC 157 a co-main event with Henderson vs. Machida because that fight is one 40-year-old surgically-repaired knee away from not happening. 

What the UFC really should have done if they were dead-set on Ronda headlining a pay per view is give Cyborg however long she needs to cut the weight, and give women’s fighting the debut it deserves in the UFC. Having relatively well-balanced fights most of the time is one of the things that separates MMA from boxing. We tell ourselves that our sport is better because our undefeated champions have legit records that weren’t built up against tomato cans and fall artists. But it’s starting to feel like that’s no longer the case. The Sonnen-Jones fight and this fight in particular feel like the UFC is just trying to keep its stars uninjured and winning. 

The fact of the matter is that if Ronda’s not dominating, women’s fighting is going to have a hard time catching on. The UFC understands this. No one wants to pay to see a juiced-up Cyborg pounding the shit out of women that still have estrogen in their systems. Ronda has a great story and she’s marketable, but I just wish they weren’t making her against an unknown fighter the first women’s fight to headline a Pay Per View. It shortchanges her, women’s fighting, and the already tapped out MMA fans across the globe.

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