History was made in the UFC as Ronda Rousey entered the Octagon on Saturday night to a sold out crowd worth 1.4 Million dollars in gate in the same building that saw Cain Velasquez best Brock Lesnar and JDS best Cain Velasquez in the first fight ever on FOX. A fight between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche was bound to garner a lot of attention being the first female fight in the UFC that would happen to be a title fight and the main event. Add to that a HUGE step forward for the LGBT community as Liz is the first openly gay athlete in the sport and you are bound to attract attention, and a lot of it. On Saturday night we got to see the fruits of that media labor as Ronda and Liz put together the perfect storm of drama, excitement, and yes – another textbook armbar with 11 seconds left in the first round.
The two ladies exchanging in the early part of the round and Liz ending up with the same position that Uriah Faber had earlier in the night in his standing rear naked choke victory over Ivan Menjavar created that moment that sports fans live for. That moment when you wonder – was Ronda all hype? Moments later she would shake Liz off and execute another brutal armbar and put the division on notice that Ronda could be tested and Ronda could survive a true threat in the Octagon and come out on top. As with any great championship fight Liz Carmouche walked out of the Octagon with more of a fan base than she came in with which is a much a testament to her as a fighter as being a part of this historic moment. But what is next?
As of this morning the UFC has signed 10 fighters to the 135lbs Women’s division Liz Carmouche, Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman, Julie Kedzie, Sara McMann, Amanda Nunes, Germaine de Randamie, Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano. Ronda has already beaten 30% of that roster – by armbar. What I find interesting is that there are still people saying that the weight class isn’t deep enough to find a challenge for Ronda. Which to me is actually two arguments. Sure the weight class only has ten people in it (thus why there isn’t a female ranking on the official UFC site yet) but when it comes to a challenge nobody seems to have that same argument for Anderson Silva. We wonder who, if anyone will beat him but we are excited to see him get in the cage regardless because as fans we want to be a part of his moment in the Octagon. While 7 fights in it is impossible to make that comparison to Ronda my point is what would be wrong with having a dominate women’s champ who is charismatic, good looking, and brutal when the cage door closes? I for one am VERY excited to see Ronda back in the Octagon and don’t much care who it is against although smart money would be on Misha Tate for a second time.
Other notes from the weekend we got to see one of the fight of the year candidates between Matt Grice and Dennis Bermudez which was as brutal as it was fun to watch. We also got to see Robbie Lawler welcome himself back into the UFC with a finish (although a bit early) of Josh Koscheck, Faber lines himself backup for a rematch with either Barao or Cruz, and Hendo and Lyoto decided to have a karate points match in the middle of a UFC PPV. Here is to hoping that Gustafsson gets the title shot over Lyoto because that was just a terrible fight to watch.
The rankings will be up at 1p this afternoon and don’t forget to get your questions in for some cool UFC prizes.