Vince McMahon couldn’t have booked a better finish as Ronda Rousey did what many debuting fighters, with a lot of press, fail to do. She lived up to the hype. Rousey’s 7-0 record brings her tally to seven armbar finishes in the first round. Liz Carmouche deserves a ton of credit after having the champion in trouble early and has undoubtedly increased her stock in defeat. Dana White said it best “She will get her kitchen table now.”
Ronda Rousey’s armbar is officially the first finishing move of Mixed Martial Arts. Like Ric Flair’s Figure Four Leg Lock and Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter, you know it’s coming, and you can’t do anything about it. Unlike the worked nature of professional wrestling, Rousey can’t put all of her eggs in the armbar basket and will have to add new weapons to her arsenal. If not, it will be a bad day when someone eventually breaks her grip.
Something I noticed after the fight was the reaction from the women in the audience. Rousey posed for pictures with some female fans at ringside, and they were ecstatic to meet her. I assume most women attend or watch UFC events at the behest of their significant other. Seeing someone, they can truly identify with being the highlight of the night must have been thrilling on some level and will pay huge dividends.
People said Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida should have been the main event. Some felt it was too soon to push women as a headlining attraction, while others are closed-minded. Personally, I thought it was too soon and should have been the co-main event.
I’m glad I was wrong.
This fight was boring, and I knew it would be. Henderson’s only offensive weapon, an overhand right, never found its mark against Machida’s slick tactics. If this had been the main event, everyone would have complained about the boring fight they paid $44.95 to see. Styles make fights, and despite this one producing a lackluster result, they were the two top contenders, so the fight had to be made.
While Liz Carmouche’s part in this history-making bout should never be diminished, UFC 157 will be remembered as one of those legendary nights where Ronda Rousey became a pioneer of the sport. She is the catalyst of a new movement that will pave the way for female mixed martial artists. Somewhere, there was a future UFC women’s champion who was inspired by what they saw on Saturday night and is in the process of taking their first Jiu-Jitsu lessons.